Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight – SE
Crystal Story is a webcomic RPG that you experience by reading instead of playing. Help tell the story by funding its first book.
Ever since I was little
I enjoyed playing video games and even more-so watching my mom and uncle play them, since there were a few parts I just couldn’t get past as kid lacking skill and patience. Being constantly inspired by the games I grew up with, I aspired to make my own stories and worlds for others to feel that same enjoyment from, however I didn’t really want to be a game designer. As I matured, I grew increasingly interested in comics and manga and always wondered if I could blend the two together somehow. Seamlessly. With Crystal Story, I think I was able to. Crystal Story started out as a passion project. I set out to create a world where the reader could turn into the main character. Inspired by The Legend of Zelda series, the MOTHER series (known as EarthBound in the west), and the Final Fantasy series, as well as an art style influenced by the works of Shotaro Ishinomori, Yoichi Kotabe, Bryan Lee O'Malley, and Benimaru Itoh, the world of Crystal Story began taking shape. It grew and consumed elements of the things I loved and felt familiar with, but kept itself original. Its own world. Its own adventure.
Almost five years later, its fanbase, while small, has been immensely dedicated. As the story progressed past the first episode (Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight), it seemed like the right time to create something special for the people who’ve been there since its inception, as well as newcomers to the series, which is why I created the concept of the Special Editions.
Crystal Story is not a traditional comic, in the sense that you’re not just reading a story. It’s designed to be more immersive to where you feel like you’re part of the long haul with everyone inside it, borrowing RPG elements like Hit Point counters (or HP, if you’re savvy), Magic Points for spell casting (MP), a leveling system and even new abilities to be learned.
Who's the hero of this story?
You! Yes, you! You take the role of Mina Mahaulu, an aspiring freelance adventurer. On the inside, Mina is half Human and half Fire Esper. True Espers have infinite MP because their hearts are made entirely of elemental gems called Crystallicite. Depending on what element their Crystallicite is atoned to, they can limitlessly conjure and manipulate those elements as magic spells.
In Mina's case, she is half Fire Esper! In Mina's case, she is half Fire Esper! Since Mina is only half Esper though, her abilities are somewhat “nerfed” and she becomes easily exhausted if she overuses them, so she has to come up with creative ways to make do. A good, pointy blade helps a lot!
In the world of Rydia, Mina must traverse the lands of Falsung and Norsung to find, collect, and combine four crystal shards in order to seal away Termina, a colossal demon that threatens unknown horrors once fully revived. Mina must learn new abilities and master ancient weaponry to defeat the beast! Grow and become strong with Mina, while taking on evil enemies, badass bosses, and dangerous dungeons!
So, what is this Special Edition about? Is it really a game?
Short answer – No, It’s not a real game. The Special Editions of the comic are meant to be an awesome companion piece to the book. They’re a bit of loot to help enrich your experience the comic and are essentially collectables. For a long time, I struggled with an idea on how to distribute Crystal Story in physical format. I knew from the start that I didn’t just want to print a book and call it a day. Since it’s a comic that reads like a game (or is it a game that plays like a comic?), packaging it like one sounded perfect. An excellent way to kickstart the experience for someone checking out the comic for the first time, or for endearing fans wanting to have something they can hold onto.
There was a certain magic to opening up a new game in the past that is lost nowadays. I wanted to bring some of that magic back with the Special Edition sets. Since the series is inspired by games mostly from the SNES era, having it in an SNES-themed package seemed like the only right thing to do – all the fun and charm of unboxing a classic without having to pay a ridiculous premium.
The process that went into making these was a huge learning experience for me, but the design of the packaging received a lot of love because of it. I designed it to be as true-to-life as possible, while still being a joy to unbox and display.
Uncle Tusk is an awesome dude who re-creates and prints retro game boxes, manuals, labels, etc. You name it. I opted to go with him so I could achieve perfect results when printing the boxes, labels, and accompanying materials in the Special Editions. He also handled the printing of the actual book itself, since it needed to be SNES Instruction Booklet size in order to properly fit in the packaging.
For fulfillment, I went with a great company called Make That Thing. These folks handle the kitting, shipping, and fulfillment of the rewards, so that you can guarantee they will be exactly as they should be when they’re delivered to you.
For handling Crystal Story’s online store, I utilized Liftoff Ecommerce. The team at Liftoff is simply amazing, and was able to help me upgrade the dated Item Shop on the webcomic’s site to something much more presentable and solidly-built.
Andrew Alford, the CEO of Liftoff Ecommerce, also does video projects as a hobby. He’s an extremely talented guy and his stuff is amazing in its own right. I employed him to shoot the intro video we used in this very campaign and I hope to work with him on future projects, video or otherwise, pertaining to Crystal Story!
So, what’s inside every complete Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight Special Edition?
Each complete Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight - Special Edition will come packaged with:
- 1 SNES-style Collector’s Box (with plastic protector case).
- 1 Gold Special Edition Collectable Cartridge. (For collecting and display purposes only. Not an actual game.)
- 1 Bronze Metal USB Key pre-loaded with digital high-resolution versions of Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight and Crystal Story: Artwork Historia Vol. 1.
- 1 Printed copy of Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight (in SNES Instruction Booklet size).
- 1 11x17 Poster.
Dreamer’s Set (Not Pictured)
This set includes: 1 Bronze Metal USB key with digital high-res versions of Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight and Crystal Story: Artwork Historia Vol. 1
Historia Set (Not Pictured)
This set includes: 1 printed copy of Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight and a download code for Crystal Story: Artwork Historia Vol. 1
This set includes: Download codes for high-res versions of Crystal Story: Dawn of the Knight and Crystal Story: Artwork Historia Vol. 1
Where will the money go?
The money from this campaign will be used directly towards manufacturing costs and fulfillment. Any additional money made from the campaign will go towards extending the Crystal Story universe – maybe an actual game!
About the Author
Fred Brown (a.k.a. Bredfrown) is an illustrator, cartoonist, graphic designer, web designer, and occasional t-shirt designer. He hails from Atlanta.
Risks and challenges
Because this piece has multiple parts, I’ve worked hard with contacting vendors well in advance in order to have vendors that feel comfortable with the production bandwidth this project requires. Since I will be outsourcing printing and fulfillment to the pros, I can focus on signing personalized rewards and other project particulars.
Rest assured, I will do my absolute best to make sure these are shipped out to you in a timely fashion, and up to strict quality standards so you may enjoy your reward without reserve.
This is getting long-winded, but I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this proposal and I thank you for your time and effort. I’ve got a lot of big ideas and promises and I intend to make good on each and every one of them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)