On the oceans, sailors tell tales of a ship crewed by the dead and flying the black flag of piracy. They say a skeletal army lives within its hold, waiting to assault unwary vessels and steal their treasure. In hushed tones, their name is uttered: “SkullPirates”
Their captain, Skull Queen, has a fearsome reputation as a cutthroat hunter of the seas. She should; she spent a whole lot on marketing to cultivate that image. She also spent a lot on weapons, cannons, clothes, hats, boots, jewelry, couches, and drapes. But most of all, she spent money on her prized ship, “The Coccyx Avenger”.
In order to support this extravagant lifestyle, the Skull Queen borrowed money from unsavory characters, and now they’ve come to collect. A group of loan sharks, led by the cunning Sharktavia, have The Coccyx Avenger surrounded and are demanding repayment.
There is one way out of Skull Queen’s financial predicament: the nearby isle of Catannia.
Catannia is ruled by a wealthy upper class of feline industrialists. Formerly part of an alliance of neighboring islands, the proud citizens of Catannia recently declared their independence as a sovereign nation. Without the protection of the other islands, the considerable wealth stored in Catannia’s treasury makes it a perfect raiding target.
To save her ship, her career in piracy, and her reputation, Skull Queen must send her crew to infiltrate Catannia, locate its treasury vault, and steal anything that isn’t nailed down. It’s a good thing she has a lot of SkullPirates.
SkullPirates is an action-adventure title drawing inspiration from retro classics including Castlevania, Zelda, and The Legend of the Mystical Ninja. On their quest, players will search Catannia’s varied environments in search of valuable items to pay off the Skull Queen’s debt, with the eventual goal of robbing its treasury.
Catannia has several distinct regions populated by a diverse cast of animal-inspired characters and enemies. Players will explore a huge island consisting of room-based regions connected by side-scrolling platform stages. These regions include a beach resort, a dense jungle, a craggy mountain and a poisonous swamp (among others) each with their own strange, often silly citizens.
By successfully stealing the island’s more valuable treasures, you’ll be rewarded with new abilities and open new areas to explore.
Numerous treasures are tucked away throughout Catannia, just waiting for an enterprising SkullPirate to snatch them. But it’s one thing to take something and another to get away with it. Stealing from the locals will attract unwanted attention and authorities might be called to hunt you down.
When things get a little too hot, you’ll have to start running! Persistent enemies will give chase to retrieve their property and the only option is to flee with your ill-gotten gains and escape by boat from one of several ports dotting Catannia.
Should the player be defeated by enemies on the island, all is not lost. The Skull Queen has an endless supply of SkullPirates to dispatch and lost gold can be collected again if you return to the place of your death. Even the bones of a defeated SkullPirate have some value and can be traded for extra gold to hungry dogs that roam the island.
Escaping Catannia with precious booty doesn’t mean you’re home free either. The waters between you and The Coccyx Avenger are sailed by rival pirates eager to claim the Skull Queen’s spoils for themselves.
Traveling in your schooner, you’ll have to defend your loot from other buccaneers in ship combat. Fight well and you might be able to salvage even more from the wrecks of your enemies; fight poorly and risk losing some of the money you’ve collected.
As you return gold and treasures to the Skull Queen, you’ll receive new ways to customize your SkullPirate. Major treasures will be rewarded with equipment that expands the abilities of your character, introducing new movement options and weapons to allow you to explore the deeper reaches of Catannia.
Additional rewards will include loads of unlockable clothing items. These items will provide passive changes to your SkullPirate’s abilities, including movement speed, attack power, damage resistance and more. Put together matching items to create a full costume and discover additional special effects, or mix and match parts to create your own look!
SkullPirates will be even more fun with friends in local or online cooperative multiplayer! The game will include a drop-in/drop-out system, allowing up to four players to team up while raiding Catannia. The game will also feature Cross-Play multiplayer across PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
SkullPirates will feature a collection of jaunty tunes to serve as a backdrop for our seafaring adventure. Here’s a first sample of the soundtrack:
Arcade Distillery is a game development studio founded in 2015 with the aim of bringing unique and beautiful games to players. Among the most supportive developers of the PlayStation Vita platform, the company has been seen promoting the merits of the handheld in articles on RollingStone.com and others. Arcade Distillery released three titles to consoles in 2017, including the Kickstarter-funded Plague Road, 2D platformer Mecho Tales, and the free-to-play action adventure Death Tales (currently in beta).
Risks and challenges
At this point in development, we have completed the core technical work necessary to build the game in our proprietary engine and have a functional demo working on all target platforms, meaning the most likely causes for delay in production have already been resolved. Going forward, the team will primarily be focused on building and testing content and our production plan allots ample time for the completion of these tasks.
While we cannot completely eliminate all potential risks to the project, our prior experience in developing through Kickstarter has prepared us for the process. Barring a cataclysmic event, we are fully confident that the game will be delivered on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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