This project's funding goal was not reached on May 24, 2012.
This project's funding goal was not reached on May 24, 2012.
Hello! You’ve arrived at the Kickstarter page for Attack Mountain’s sidescrolling action RPG, Legend of the Time Star! Feel like games need an injection of warm and fuzzy nostalgia? Want to help fuel the ‘Indie Revolution’ by supporting a stellar game team made up of top-tier talent?
Attack Mountain has partnered with people like Jake ‘virt’ Kaufman, Echo Bridge Pictures, and more to produce a polished, exciting game we’re sure you’ll love. Have we got your attention? Whetted your appetite? Then, read on!
Legend of the Time Star is a sidescrolling action-RPG with light free-roam elements, hand-designed dungeons, a fast-paced (and satisfying) combat system, as well as a wide range of moves and items to discover – and it’s all driven by a story spanning a robust world that will have players hooked from beginning to end. Our goal is to create a game that feels as though it came straight out of the golden age of SNES RPGs, while also ensuring it has depth and is engaging on a level that players demand of today’s modern titles. It draws inspiration from many JRPG classics, along with some of our own personal favorites that lay outside that realm. The game is currently in development for the PC platform.
The core design and narrative team here at Attack Mountain has created a rich, detailed world full of amazing characters, creatures, and environments, and we’re partnering with some of the industry’s best talents to bring it all to life – a dynamic art team, an established animation studio, and audio efforts by Jake ‘virt’ Kaufman. All we need now is the support of the gaming community to make Legend of the Time Star a reality.
On May 14th we revealed the following prototype video for the first time. It's very early, as you can see - we're still in the animation stage and haven't begun converting the hand-drawn animations over to sprites. This one takes place in Hyder's Wood and shows off some basic movement, as well as version one of the 'Quick Attack' that we discussed in our second Developer Diary. We'd love to hear what you think!
Legend of the Time Star follows the story of a boy named Hero*, the sole survivor of a massive roaming starship that crash-lands on an uncharted planet fueled by steel and magic. Coping with the loss of his memory and a lack of purpose, he settles into a simple life living off the farmland owned by an old monk named Master Iolo.
“And what of the sole child that survived? Surely the boy from the stars was some sort of divine being sent here with a message?”
Some of the crashes’ impacts on the world are immediate; politics take a turn, with the cities divided on the implications of the earth-shaking event. The forest in which the starship crashed leveled a huge swath of valuable wilds, which diminished economies in the area, and the smoldering remains contained technologies that even the world’s most brilliant minds could not begin to decipher. Some took the events as a sign of an upcoming Doomsday; others argue it was a sign of a higher power’s fury. Even others deny anything went on, or that it was simply an unexplainable phenomenon.
“Another caravan gone, people an’ all. Perhaps I got into the wrong business; one of these days, someone will be saying this about me and my wares.”
The significant changes don’t come until seven years after the crash: the undead, common but timid, start to grow bold, leaving the solitude of the deep swamps and woodlands they reside in to attack passing caravans. An uneasiness settles over the world at night, the dark filled with distant, hellish noises. World powers are on edge trying to curtail worries of an alarmed populous while simultaneously trying to figure out what has caused the normally docile undead to grow so angry and restless.
“Deny, deny, deny. Denial is all you have; Cling to it, as death grips you.”
After a close encounter with a group of skeletons and zombies in broad daylight on a routine trip to a nearby well, Master Iolo and Hero venture to town to discuss the growing undead problem with the Moonlight Council. On the way, they’re ambushed by Ciris, an ominous and mysterious man with mastery over a dark, otherworldly energy and what he claims is a direct connection to Hero’s past. A harrowing battle leaves Hero alone and lost deep in the wilderness, armed only with a sword and a general idea as to where the nearest civilization lay.
With determination in his gaze, Hero sets off into the now-dangerous wilds, determined to make sense of things. Little does he know just how involved he is – both in the starship disaster, and the fate of the very planet he now calls home.
*Q: Hero? Really, guys? A: Yes, really! It’s simply a default name. This is homage to all JRPGs – you’ll be able to name the main character whatever you’d like at the beginning of the game.
An undertaking like Legend of the Time Star requires many talented helping hands, and there’s no shortage of those ready to work on this game and make it a reality!
About Attack Mountain
Attack Mountain is a NYC-based ‘indie-core’ collective, focused on creating satisfying core gaming experiences for gamers. By gamers, we’re talking about people who spent their childhood sitting two feet away from their TV with an NES/SNES/Genesis controller in their hands. We’re talking about the people who refused to admire the big, colorful level maps of a game’s Nintendo Power strategy guide until they beat said game. We’re talking about people who felt cool when they told someone that Final Fantasy II/III was actually Final Fantasy IV/VI in elementary school. And yes, we’re talking about the people who miss flipping through a thick, heavy game manual filled with gorgeous concept art on the drive home from picking up the latest JRPG. We aim to bring that warm, fuzzy feeling back to gaming by providing players with polished and engaging games that have just the right amount of old and new.
Our core development team consists of industry professionals – like-minded people with proven track records from all walks of the gaming world. The net is cast wide, with people who’ve worked with (or for) everyone from EA to Konami. The core team’s small enough to stay organic, allowing it to adapt quickly to an ever-changing gaming landscape, while still being large enough to benefit from a large pool of talent resources. We keep development costs down by working directly with top-tier talent through contracts and commission work, which allows us to do more with less without sacrificing quality or vision.
We're located up in the mountains of Manhattan (otherwise known as Washington Heights). We're a team full of grit and character, and we are among those who wish to remind the game industry of where it came from. With us, you’ll get finely constructed narratives, great writing, airtight gameplay, and polished visuals – not to mention soundtracks you’ll want to listen to on loop. That’s the Attack Mountain promise.
About Jake ‘virt’ Kaufman
Jake "virt" Kaufman is a composer and sound designer for games, having
worked on such titles as Contra 4, Red Faction: Guerrilla, and
WayForward's "Mighty" series (Milky Way / Flip Champs / Switch Force) as well as the Shantae series. He started out as a chiptune musician and an arranger of game soundtracks, and remains active in these communities, strongly
believing in the free sharing of music and knowledge. He lives in Los
Angeles with his wife Kris and his dog Nugget, both of whom are famed
for their own pursuits (chiptune radio and consuming freeze-dried beef
Jake shares Attack Mountain's vision and fully supports Legend of the Time Star. He was our first choice to provide the soundtrack and other audio needs for the game, and we are honored to have him on board. You can even hear three pieces of music from the game right here, today! If LoTS becomes a reality, there will only be more where this came from.
The second OST video is being grumpy and refuses to embed, so you can check it out here. (We'll try and get it fixed later.)
About Dudu Torres
Dudu Torres, Legend of the Time Star’s Lead Artist, is a well-respected illustrator residing in Uberlândia / Minas Gerais / Brasil. This expressive and versatile artist has been working with game art, book and CD covers, storyboards, comics, and general 2D production for many years. His most recent commercial work can be seen in Meridian 4/Octane Games’ Wasteland Angel, though many of you may recognize him from his spectacular Legend of Zelda art series featured on Kotaku.
A longtime gamer, Dudu shares Attack Mountain’s vision and has been critical in forging Time Star’s distinct art style. Our goal was to provide players with a game world that is both familiar and brand new; something with warmth and heart. With its thick lines, detailed ink work, and bold, rich color palette, we believe we’ve done just that.
About Echo Bridge Pictures
Echo Bridge Pictures LLC is a full service 2D animation studio located in St. Petersburg, Florida. Founded in 2011, Echo Bridge Pictures has created a variety of works for film, television, online/mobile content and video games. Led by widely acclaimed animator Esteban Valdez, Echo Bridge Pictures is noted for its ability to tell compelling narrative through animation, producing fresh, innovative material in just about any style.
A sneak peek at Echo Bridge's work on the walk cycle, show next to Dudu's concept art. We hand draw all animations before making sprites. It's the best way to ensure the animations flow together and feel 'right'.
Recent projects include: The Octonauts, Season 2 (BBC), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon), Ugly Americans, Seasons 1 and 2 (Comedy Central), Skull Girls (Reverge Labs), and The Electric Company (PBS).
Esteban Valdez and Attack Mountain’s Joe Laurino go way back, having worked together on various projects while in employment many years ago at Gameloft. Echo Bridge will be handling all sprite art and animation needs for Legend of the Time Star, guaranteeing that the game will have fluid, satisfying animation that looks and ‘feels’ great.
As mentioned briefly above, Attack Mountain keeps costs down by working directly with top-tier talent through contracts and commissions. Our core development team is well connected and has a vast pool of game industry resources to draw from. This allows us to do more with less – similar to how Guillermo Del Toro’s connections and resources in the movie world allow him to create films that have the look and feel of movies with ten times the budget.
We partner with teams, studios, and individuals indiscriminately, with the goal of bringing on the most appropriate talent for each project we develop. The fact that the core team remains the same across each project ensures that our games maintain a consistent design and narrative philosophy.
A high level breakdown of the game’s budget.
Legend of the Time Star’s budget will be split fairly evenly, with the split becoming more even with every dollar we get over the game’s budget goal. We respect and appreciate all of the hard work our team is putting into this game, and will make sure that everyone that contributes to the project gets their fair share.
It goes without saying that the higher the budget, the more we’ll be able to do. Nothing’s off the table as our budget grows – live instruments for the soundtrack, VO, even a fully animated intro. We’ll grow and expand the project with whatever you’re gracious enough to give us, and make sure that you’re given the biggest possible bang for your buck.
As if all of this weren’t enough, we intend to distribute the game DRM free via digital distribution channels at a very reasonable price-point. We’re not out to make a gazillion dollars (though that sure would be nice!); we simply want to make spectacular games for you to play.
One thing's for sure - you guys are talking about the game. Whether it's on Kotaku, Joystiq, or one of the various game forums online, it's clear that people resonate with Time Star and want to see it succeed. Check out the links and quotes below to see what people are saying!
Contributing to Legend of the Time Star can net you a ton of really cool awards – an exclusive wallpaper, the game’s soundtrack, autographed art prints…we’ll even put you (or your name, anyway) in the game! Let's break down the rewards below.
Speaking of that exclusive wallpaper, while we obviously can't show you the high-res version in all its glory, you can see a piece of it above. As the only humans on the planet that have seen the full unadulterated piece, we can tell you one thing: You want it. That's not all, though -
If our campaign succeeds and you've pledged $5 or more, you'll receive a special OST Sampler containing the three songs from this campaign along with your wallpaper on May 25th!
And that's just the first tier of rewards! Here's how the other tiers look:
We promise our rewards will only grow as our budget does. We'll watch donations like a 'reward hawk' and swoop in with new stuff for you. Support us and we'll make sure we've got your back when it comes to the goods.
If you have any questions about the rewards, please let us know!
Hey, want to see some pretty pictures? We know you do. Nothing like eating up all of the beautiful concept art for an upcoming RPG. Below you'll find an assortment of Dudu Torres' incredible artwork for Legend of the Time Star. This art offers only a glimpse into this world we've created. We'd love to hear what you think of it! Click on the text links below to launch the full image.
We made this section to house the developer diaries we've been posting over on our tumblr, which is our go-to location for Attack Mountain and Time Star-related updates. If you're interested in hearing more about different aspects of the game, look no further!
We thank you wholly and sincerely for your time - we know there's a lot up there to absorb. If any of what you've read above has resonated with you, we'd love to have your support - even if that support is 100 pennies. Together, we can make this game happen.
When you invest in Legend of the Time Star, you're not only investing in a bang-up RPG - you're investing in a long future of rewarding, engaging, highly-polished game experiences being made by people who get you.
We know the kind of games you want to play - you know why? Because they're the same kind of games WE want to play.
-Attack Mountain and Team LoTS
It's definitely too soon to say 'yes' on this one, but ideally, we'd love to ensure as many people as possible get the chance to play Legend of the Time Star! If our initial budget allows, we'll try and get at the very least a Mac port out around the same time as the PC version. If not, we will revisit it based on the game's success and the demand of users. For now, it's safe to say the game will be PC only at launch.
We're wary of saying something as definite as 'After $X we'll do X port', as we don't want to make a promise of that magnitude that we cannot keep. We want to ensure that all resources we earn go towards producing the best game possible before we focus on developing ports.
Currently, we are pegging Legend of the Time Star's core story arc to be roughly 20 hours long, with 10 to 15 hours of side-content laced through it. Side quests will provide valuable rewards - skill trees, equipment, special vendors - and, in some unique cases, impact the main story in a small but meaningful way.
We whole-heartedly agree! What kind of self-respecting RPG doesn't have loot? There will most certainly be loot - from equipable items to valuables like gems and crafting materials (which are used to upgrade weapons and armor).
There will be a unique NPC vendor in each main town, with other, more general vendors placed a bit more liberally throughout the world. Unique NPC vendors will provide specialty items that you'll only be able to acquire from them; additionally, some NPC vendors will not be available until you've completed a story arc pertaining to them, or you've satisfied some particular requirements over the course of your adventures.
The Forge System doesn't only allow you to forge the perfect weapon to meet your needs - it also allows you to use items you find in the world to upgrade and improve your weapons and armor, allowing them to grow with your character. Remember what it was like to find a piece of a turtle shell after defeating a giant turtle and going 'What can I make with this?' So do we. :)
No! We keep hearing people talking about this two year timeline like it's set in stone. It's not - it's simply a conservative number we put on the table after an assessment of our project's scope. Remember, good games take time to make.
As we've mentioned above, the more we get, the more we'll be able to focus on Time Star. Our expected budget allows us to do the game but at a somewhat slower rate (after all, we have full-time game industry jobs). Anything after that speeds up the timeline. We just don't want to over-promise in terms of the game's release - we are more concerned with doing it right than doing it quickly.
If we're lucky enough to find tons of people are throwing money at us and we get 400-500% funded - that will significantly reduce the development timeline and allow us to focus on it more.
Those are predicted trajectories that are subject to change at any time, of course. We subscribe to the Blizzard mentality of 'it's done when it's done'. If it's not good enough and it doesn't meet our expectations, we'll keep working on it. The very last thing we want to do is adhere to super-strict guidelines to the detriment of our games.
We want to tell you that we hear you loud and clear on this. Tons of high quality Kickstarters are coming to the table with prototypes these days. While it makes the barrier to entry much higher for aspiring studios (who may not have the ability to develop something like that until AFTER they get funded), we understand it also helps you guys wade through potential projects with a bit more ease by giving you a better idea of what you're investing in. After all, a gameplay video speaks a thousand words.
Today, we'd like to reveal that we are indeed working on a short but sweet gameplay video for you - it's coming May 13th or 14th. What we've got so far is very rough - like, not ready for public consumption rough. Even when you DO see it, we want you to keep in mind that it's going to be what we'd call pre-pre-PRE-Alpha. We couldn't stay quiet about it any longer, because we know deep down that it's been holding some people back from investing.
We wanted to keep this under wraps and not say anything about it unless we absolutely had to, but here goes: one of our co-founders has to remain anonymous until they’re in a position to reveal themselves. This isn’t something we were expecting going into this. In fact, we had to change a lot of the Kickstarter a week before we launched it because I was told by this person that they’d be terminated from their current place of employment immediately if they were associated with the game in any way. (There’s your state of the game industry, guys.) So, yes, that weakened our unified stance, but we have been working with it best we can. Our other co-founder is my brother Jeff Laurino. Jeff’s been handling our studio in the role of ‘Director of Operations’. He’s worked professionally in the industry before as a game designer and assistant office administrator, and holds a BA in Mass Media Studies with a concentration in Media Law. He’s a tremendous guy who is incredibly talented, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my brother. That leaves me. For that, http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view…, where my track record and recommendations speak for themselves.
We can name RPGs - Japanese or otherwise - until the impending apocalypse happens, so we'll try and keep this below a paragraph and stick just to a cross-section of the specific ones that we've drawn inspiration for Time Star from: Breath of Fire I-II, Secret of Mana/Legend of Mana, Dragon Quest I-V, Final Fantasy IV and V, Terranigma, Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Evermore. Other games have inspired us as well - LOTS of them - and we'll delve more into this in our developer diaries as we move forward.
We will certainly support the game after launch - as in, we'll make sure that if any bugs slip through the cracks, we'll squash them ASAP, and if there are performance issues on certain types of machines/chipsets/etc, we'll make sure that we take care of those too.
It's too soon to tell what we'll do regarding DLC but right now our thought is that DLC doesn't quite line up with our vision of this game. Our concept behind Time Star is more of it being a complete package with everything contained within it right from launch, as opposed to something like modern titles, where you get an experience but there's there's a ton of content you don't have access to unless you pay even more money for it. We don't want to charge X amount for the game and then say 'Hey, surprise! Here's another handful of quests for another X amount of dollars!'
We'll keep an open mind going forward, however, and want to stress that the final game will definitely have enough content to keep you occupied for a good long while. If the community speaks loudly about DLC and the game does well, we'll consider it!
Yes - sorry about that! The Digital Soundtrack provided in the $75 Value package is the same as the one in the $40 package. However, we're looking at adding one or two unique and exclusive songs to the soundtrack included in the Value package.
Yes! Let’s just say, keep an eye on the update coming later this week. :)
We’d love to – it was part of the whole feel of the era, after all. As we said in our Kickstarter missive, we will definitely add things like physical soundtracks and copies of the game if we can afford to.
Hi! If Valve is listening, we’re big fans of Steam, and we will be submitting Time Star there for distribution consideration once we're ready. Rest assured that whatever we choose, whether it's through Steam or not, we'll make sure it's nice and easy for you to obtain your copy.
We have the connections to do both of these, and we’d love to. We understand that localization gets the experience to more people, and we want as many people as possible to play our game. If there’s a demand for it in a country, we’ll do it once we've got a profit coming in and can afford to. At the very least, we'd LOVE to do a Japanese port.
Developer diaries are going to run weekly for now, with a new one coming out every Saturday. There may be weeks where we run two.
We answer all of the questions we've been sent during the day around 8pm EST. If it seems like a question everyone will want to know the answer to, we post it on this FAQ. We're serious about answering every single question that comes across our table! Don't believe us? Ask us something!
Yes we can! We'll be covering both of these in upcoming updates soon. Once we do, we'll update this question to include the link to the Developer Diary.
Great question! Joe answered this one: "Our thought with Time Star (and Attack Mountain in general) is to meld the feel of that era's games - the style, the gameplay, et cetera - with, as you said, modern design techniques. Rest assured there will be a delicate balance kept - we won't reinvent a design technique or game mechanic from twenty years ago if we don't have to, but we also won't adhere so strictly to the 90's motif that we make a poor design decision that makes the game less fun. I don't want to say too much more yet - I believe our upcoming Developer Diaries will make things a bit more clear, and help you get a better idea of what's coming from where."
The director of Time Star and co-founder of AM actually comes from a dual background of game design and audio direction (and actively performs in both roles). This led him to make a lot of very high profile connections in the audio world. As a result, we actually have a full-service VO studio waiting in the wings, and they've got access to a talent pool with SERIOUS chops. If we blow this Kickstarter out and get overfunded by a significant amount, we'll assess our funds and do VO if we can afford to after all of our 'nice to haves' from our production backlog are prioritized.
Short term answer is that yes, the basic NPCs are characters that simply exist in the game world. The types of characters that have one or two lines of dialogue when you speak to them, or make a comment about something that's going on in the game's world at that moment. We've only got 17 of the 'Put Me In The Game' packages left, so if you're thinking about snatching one up and getting yourself into Time Star at a bargain pledge amount, jump on it! At the rate they've been going, they'll be gone by the end of next week.
UPDATE: Our solution to this is now live! In addition to doubling the $40 tier, we have added an unlimited $30 dollar tier. The $40 tier and up includes the Special Edition soundtrack, which contains three tracks not available in the Standard Edition (the $30 one). Please check Update #6 for more information.
We're going to be doing a character feature on her one of these upcoming weeks, but our focus right now is getting you guys a gameplay video. We figure that between a character update and some gameplay footage, that you'd prefer gameplay footage. ;)
- (31 days)