Americana Dawn: A Sprawling Epic 90s Inspired RPG
Americana Dawn: A Sprawling Epic 90s Inspired RPG
A Classic JRPG inspired by American folklore and history.
A Classic JRPG inspired by American folklore and history. Read more
About this project
Imagine a Suikoden game set in Colonial America inspired by elements of Chrono Trigger, Grandia, Fire Emblem and the writings of Mark Twain.
- Innovative turn-based combat system! Combining strategy with real time elements.
- High quality pixel art.
- Hand-drawn portraits and cutscenes.
- A sweeping epic story spanning two centuries.
- Interact with historical figures and play a role in pivotal events.
- Tactical RPG strategy war system in a historical setting!
Americana Dawn is a role playing game which explores over two centuries of early American history using a new tradition of folklore and tall tale. Throughout its story, we follow Foster, the spirit of the sea, a gentle and innocent being who arrives in America with no apparent heritage or home. Lost to the wilderness of Shenandoah Valley, he lives in complete isolation for a hundred years until he is found and recruited in the provincial militia.
Thus begins his strange journey, spanning across three wars and the entire eastern seaboard of North America: from the French and Indian War to the American Revolution, from the colony of Georgia to Quebec City. Foster witnesses once loyal English become American rebels. He fights against dear friends turned foe, watch mortal companions blossom and wither, bears witness to the chain of events that would create the United States, and is left with revelations both inspiring and woeful.
This is not a story about a man who changes the world, but a world that changes a man.
Americana Dawn provides a refreshing spin on the RPG formula with an innovative close quarters combat system called microbattles as well as full out wars being waged in the macrobattles. Vibrant environments invite exploration where the player can find out more about the detailed world as well as discover many items that add a great deal of variety to the gameplay.
Turn Based Battles feature a unique twist on the ATB system, bringing a fresh and exciting new brand of strategy to the standard RPG battle combining elements of Suikoden, Chrono Trigger and Grandia as well as many other influences. Use character's unique abilities to outsmart an enemy that often has superior numbers and strength by manipulating turn order and using precisely timed counter attacks to gain a leg up. Good planning is rewarded allowing the player to unleash electrifying combination attacks when the proper conditions are met.
Each main character is given different weapon types that grant exciting strategic approaches to combat. As there are no random battles, EXP, or statistical improvements offered, progression is measured by skill acquisition. Characters who are naturally adept at specific weapons have fifteen levels of mastery per item. Accessories offer a satisfying level of customization to character's natural strengths and weaknesses.
Americana Dawn’s focus on a dynamic and changing world is demonstrated in its large-scaled combats based on historical battles. Players control historical figures and a large number of units that may be part of eight unique classes. The key element in these large wars is the interaction with the environment, whether it is slaughtering cannoneers and using infantry to steal their artillery, or attacking sentry towers and turning infantry into marksmen.
The setting of Americana Dawn is unprecedented in the history of JRPGs, with a rich tapestry of history and culture to explore and unlock. Here are some of the main players in this epic tale!
Joining us in this journey is professional composer Samuel Ascher-Weiss, or Shnabubula! With several professional gigs and years of experience under his belt, his epic, eclectic style is exactly the kind of thing that'll make this game come alive.
We've even built a custom engine for the first half of Americana Dawn, intended to get as close as we can to classic SNES audio! It also marks a crucial shift in the game; as Foster's understanding of the world around him as well as the consequences of his own actions disillusion him, the SNES instruments will evolve into a richer high quality soundscape, with live performance. We need your help to reach this goal!
Here are some tracks currently written for the game, showing off Shnabubula's inimitable style.
A Central theme in the game. When lost in the woods for 100 years, Foster had nothing to keep him company except for this melody he heard the wind itself singing to him.
Children of War
One of the early battle themes. Foster being ignorant to the true weight of his actions in his participation in warfare, this song represents the marching of toy soldiers, being manipulated into fighting battles they can't possibly understand.
This is the theme of Heroism in Americana Dawn. Heroism exists in war mostly in the minds of those who believe they are fighting for a just cause. Whether or not they're truly justified in their actions, this theme represents a group of people uniting under a common banner and the loyalty, camaraderie as well as sacrifice that comes along with such a commitment.
In May of 2012, Americana Dawn had a fundraiser on Kickstarter, asking for 2,000 USD (making 4,791 USD). At the time, the game was created using a pre-built engine and used many public assets, so I requested a modest amount. The original project was a short experimental game. I had not expected it to become what it is today, but I fell in love with 18th Century America, and all the strange and exotic people that resided there. From that passion, Americana Dawn took on a life of its own with a new cast, lore and purpose, created with a custom engine and all original assets.
Due to various circumstances, the original team had disbanded, but I could never stop working on this – both out of obligation to my supporters and my love for this game. I juggled multiple jobs as I recruited a new staff that had the skill, dedication and team spirit required to carry this to the finish line. The original budget barely covers the assets we currently have. Americana Dawn has been kept alive entirely by my day jobs' income. However, due to recent health problems, it has been difficult for me to keep up.
So far, 1/3rd of all the game's assets are already complete. We have a detailed list of what's needed left, which is how we determined our budget
"Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages." - George Washington
When is the planned completion date?
While the foundations has been created, there is still much to be done. A generous estimate is between 2.5 to 3 years given the quality and quantity of assets still required, and the months of QA testing needed to ensure a quality, bug-free and refined finished product and the time it takes to fix the game accordingly.
This money is used to compensate my team mates for their efforts. We already have 1/3rd of our assets completed, and needed help getting the rest done. We have a list and know exactly what is left.
Max Lam AKA "seltaire" is a visual designer and writer who graduated from the University of California, Irvine with triple major and double thesis. She has been a celebrated member of several videogame development communities for many years, and has been especially devoted to the study, development and expansion of the JRPG genre. Having lent assistance to many up and coming game projects and headed a few smaller ones on her own, she's ready to put her skills and experience to full use on Americana Dawn which has become not just a game to her, but a deep burning passion. http://bitbonton.com/
Juri Hayasaka Chinchilla is an incredibly skilled illustrator from Japan who came to the United States in 2004 to study art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is currently a fantasy illustrator with a distinct and intricate style that has netted her a large following on DeviantArt. http://jurithedreamer.deviantart.com/
Samuel Ascher-Weiss AKA "Shnabubula" is a professional composer and accomplished Jazz Pianist. He's released over 13 albums to great critical response and founded SNESology, a movement dedicated to the revival of the classic game soundtracks of the 16 bit era. He's been very selective about his collaborations, only working on projects that moved him creatively and Americana Dawn was one he simply couldn't refuse. He's written music for several games including Space Ninja, 2a03 Wing, and Continue: Philly Under Fire based on the popular webshow "Continue?". He's been an active contributing and highly respected member of the OCReMix community dedicated to the appreciation of game music since 2004. Here you can see a brief list of some of the projects he's been involved with: http://vgmdb.net/artist/1018
Canako Arai is from Japan and went to school in the United States. She now teaches English to Japanese speakers and has complete fluency in both languages. Canako fell in love with the script for Americana Dawn and wanted to make sure it was equally appreciated by players on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
Brendan Chan graduated with a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of the Pacific. Programming has been a deep passion of his for a long time and he taught himself the ropes of game design by making several in depth mods of complicated engines before building one from the ground up himself. He and Max have worked in close cooperation throughout the development of Americana Dawn in order to engineer a streamlined yet deep and satisfying gameplay experience.
Soshiro Hokkai is the legendary composer of the classic Gameboy Advance title Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. He's also worked on other titles in the Castlevania handheld series and more recently Chibi-Robot: Photo Finder for the 3DS. The team was especially excited to work with Mr. Hokkai as many of them have been great admirers of his work for a long time. http://vgmdb.net/artist/442
David Ngo is a protege of Brendan's, still working on his Master's at the University of the Pacific. He's been assisting Brendan with development of the engine allowing the two to work at double the pace. Together they've perfected a deadly efficient workflow allowing features to be implemented and perfected in the blink of an eye.
Takashi Kaneda is a virtuoso pixel artist from Japan. His detailed work is unparalleled and has earned him the admiration of fans around the world.
YAA_YAA is another Japanese pixel artist and animator in the tradition of the great masters. His life-like animations make the characters and scenery jump right off the screen.
Jon Davies AKA "Sovan Jedi" is a brilliant pixel artist, animator and game developer hailing from the UK. He founded his own game studio called MegaDev which has developed several successful games including House of Ninjas.
João Victor G. Costa AKA "Jinn" is a prolific and highly skilled Pixel Artist from Brazil. He's able to create top quality work in a very short period of time and to work comfortably in a large variety of styles. http://jinndevil.tumblr.com/
Risks and challenges
We have a team that is dedicated with the required skillsets to bring this game into fruition. We know game development is difficult, as we have experienced many adversities from this project. However, we have braved through many obstacles already. Regardless, Americana Dawn will be completed. I have a deep personal investment in this game, and there are promises that must be kept. The only question is time. In which case, we have a schedule of 2.5 years, given Americana Dawn's length, production quality and small team. We have planned a buffer of 4 months dedicated to QA testing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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