News and Updates:
You asked and we listened! You can still help Kova's progress and development, we've added a PayPal button to our homepage!
LAST DAY: What an amazing community that surrounds Kova, and even though we didn't fund we still feel like we gained so much! Thank you all and please sign up for our Pre-Alpha Demo Here!
- April 26: Thank you, and we have Plan B!
- April 25: Alpha Beta Gamer & VGChartz Reviews
- April 24: Join us Wednesday for 2 Live Streams & Help us name that creature!
- April 23: OnlySP Interview & Couch Co-op Stretch Goal Unveiled
- April 22: Creature Contest & 400 Backer Challenge
- April 21: Live Q&A on Twitch
- April 20: SENDING A BIG THANK YOU! Plus more interviews!
- April 19: Kova Highlight Trailer & Useapotion.com Interview
- April 17: Unlocked a Community Goal
- April 14: New Teaser Trailer! Don't forget to check out the Kova add-ons!
- April 11: Started our Thunderclap... Sign up here!
- April 10: New Add-On Items, PLUS Backers $35+ Receive Digital OST
- April 7: First Live Demo of Kova on Twitch & Another Bonus Tier Lit up!
- April 4: Update 6: Console Announcement! Kova will be on Xbox, Switch & PS4
- April 3: Update 5: Weekday Development Streams
- April 2: Smudboy Interview!
- March 31: Twitch Q&A About Making of Kova
- March 31: Gameranx Interview!
- March 30: First 48 Hours Update & Interview with 2Tall Gamers
- March 28: Launch Day and Greenlit on Steam
- March 27: Bammsters Podcast Interview
An early demo (Windows via Steam) will be available to backers at "Supporter" tier and up, shortly after funding is met. It includes the first hostile world mission, then to the first outer hub!
To add a reward, just pick your item above and add that amount to your pledge. When Kova funds we will send you a survey to verify your add-on item!
Kova is a side-scrolling action RPG in the metroidvania style. Take on the role of Kova, a mercenary-explorer surviving through tough times as she crosses the galaxy. Interact with larger-than-life characters, travel to hand-painted planets, and struggle against vicious creatures as you unravel the universe's greatest mystery - why has humanity never encountered intelligent alien life?
You take control of Kova, a space mercenary that has found herself between paydays as she flies to a local Hub in hopes of a job lead. She's soon given a warm welcome by a nearby opponent's ship that takes out her main thruster. With no choice but to land, she sets coordinates to a close by (but extremely cold and uninhabited) planet where she must pick up the pieces to progress. After mining for some resources on the icy planet, she is able to get her ship back online only to stumble upon an ancient beacon. When she actives this beacon, some sort of encrypted chip ejects from it, and the radar on the ship goes ballistic with several more beacon signals. What purpose do these beacons serve? Who put them here? Who else might be after them?
Throughout your journey of collecting beacons, you will interact with a wide gamut of personalities and characters that may just change how you want to proceed. From droids, fellow mercenaries, faction leaders or just the town folk, their personalities and stories can tap into your conscience.
Similar to an FPS, there will be full directional aiming and shooting for both primary and secondary weapons. You'll be able to take cover during intense battles between enemies and quickly change weapons. Using the digital pad, you’ll have access to some quick crafting items that will allow you to recharge your battery, refill your health or reload your weapons. Completing missions and talking with different engineers will help you unlock more advanced maneuvers with ‘suit chips’.
Three distinct factions control the colonized planets. During the game, you’ll receive side missions from each faction, for which you’ll get reputation points for the respective group (as well as new weapons or other items that will help you in the primary mission.) The more reputation points you earn with a faction, the more access points you will gain in certain areas of the planet maps and the dialogue with NPCs may also play out differently.
- Intergalactic Alliance Authority (IAA) - The governing body seeking control and domination
- OM1NOUS - The rebellious group, fighting for droid rights
- TRIADYNE - The corporation, creating advanced robotics and weaponry
Kova has atmospheric planets, each with their own sprawling "wild" levels accompanied by a town hub, custom to each inhabited planet. You’ll be able to interact with the local colonists of each hub that will offer you jobs. Each job will take you into the alluring, yet harsh conditions of each planet, to earn credits for upgrades (which will help you in your main investigation around the mysterious beacons.) As well as developing a functioning vertical slice, we have also been hard at work fleshing out the worlds and feel of the game. Our artist, Blake has been very meticulous in designing beautiful set pieces until they perfectly represent the intended target imagery, so that we (and you) can visualize our universe.
Uncovering A Mystery As Old As Time
Traveling to different planets, collecting beacons and piecing together the map fragments hidden within each one, you'll also find obelisks that have gone undetected until you activated that first beacon. As you visit each one you will uncover more of the mysteries of the Universe, as told before humans inhabited it, and gain access to new items or abilities.
As you move from planet to planet you'll be required to refuel and maintain your ship - either by buying materials or mining the resources and crafting it. As you find more minerals across new planets you will be able to craft new weapon ammo, save points to deploy, battery and health packs.
Leveling Up, RPG-style
Depending on your play style, you can earn new primary and secondary weapons, but Kova also has a large upgrade tree to increase her abilities. You can upgrade from the smallest details like battery power all the way to cybernetics if you wish. But it’s not all weapons and skills! To reach the more distant destinations, you’ll need to also upgrade your ship’s abilities by visiting different engineers that will craft the parts needed to increase your ship’s range.
As humans ventured further out to colonize planets and expand their reach, the galaxy fell into turmoil. With the incredible resources that were discovered and mined on planets outside of the original solar system, they were able to advance their technology tenfold — and their weaponry didn't stray behind either.
With the constant fear of what lurked in the darkness ahead weapons became stronger, droids became more advanced and citizens grew divided. Soon enough humans had created their own demise by going to war with each other over the growing fear that they were inviting a new species that would destroy them. IAA, the governing body, sought to keep expanding and spread propaganda and fear of what would happen if they stopped, but it only further divided the citizens.
As this fear grew, so did OM1NOUS’s reach. These rebels worked against the further colonization of planets - as the more humankind expanded, the less they could maintain the lives of those that were already in dire straits. Humans could now cure many diseases and cancers, but the droids that the greatest minds had worked so hard to create could not gain basic living rights. They were treated like dogs and left to rust as the IAA only looked to the future. With a common enemy, the droids joined forces with OM1NOUS.
The division between the IAA and OM1NOUS was getting deeper and yet the major manufacturer of droids remained unscathed. TRIADYNE, the monopoly corporation in robotics and weapons manufacturing, only cared about progressing their technology at any cost. Dealing secretly with the other two factions allowed them to undermine any Alliance law.
Caught between all of the chaos were the few that kept their heads down and their eyes on the money. There is still plenty of Galactic Credit to go around, it's just a matter of who you know and who's willing to deal. Regardless of the daily grind, there's still the lurking thought of the phantom evil that may some day arise, but the best anyone can do right now is just survive.
Kova's original music is written by Houston native and sci-fi geek, Adam J. Pope. He has dedicated the past 20 years to creating music and art, writing for a wide variety of circumstances including live performances, original soundtracks and interactive sound installations. He has worked closely with Blake to carefully capture the delicate atmosphere and other worldly feel for the game. Adam's work can be found on SoundCloud. The Kova OST will be available for sale once the game releases at the end of the year.
Join Our Community:
Kova utilizes a "concept first" approach to art style that puts an emphasis on capturing the feeling of a conceptual aesthetic that often gets lost when translating from paper to production. Our pipeline blurs the line between concept and game-ready assets. Our Head artist, Blake Lowry, has done artwork for film and games, including the History Channel, the Prometheus Blu-Ray extras, as well as projects with the original creators of Guitar Hero.
Our animations utilize the latest tech in 2D animation, taking advantage of Nima, an advanced cloud-based 2D animation tool from 2Dimensions. Kova has the backing of Luigi and Guido Rosso, twin brothers and creators of Nima. They have extensive backgrounds in design and engineering (Archetype, Intel) and are by our side on-call, for the Black Hive team, to push the envelope for Kova's animation technology.
Every visual in the game builds upon great works of inspiration by other artistic visions that are heavily influential to our team. We do want to create something familiar but not so much so that it isn't striking, so we utilize a color palette and aesthetic that symbolizes these familiar themes, but accent it with imagery and effects to give it a truly unique atmosphere.
Keep checking back for stretch goal reveals as we progress through the campaign!
Kova is the game that has been a long time coming. Black Hive has been making games and apps since 2009, mostly self-funded, with the goal of having our studio eventually tackle a project of this caliber. We have the pre-alpha build, the talent, experience, and most importantly, the passion, but we need help from you guys to bring this game to its fullest potential. We want to give Kova every chance to survive this harsh galaxy, so we are turning to you to aid us in the whole process, from funding all the way through to testing. We want you to be as much a part of this project as we are... after all this game is all of ours!
It takes a lot of gears to make the wheels of a studio turn so here’s the breakdown:
Risks and challenges
We understand game development and have dedicated our whole life to it. From game companies, start-ups, contracts, and self-publishing, we have had a hand in nearly every aspect of a release. We have meticulously and strategically planned out the schedule and budget for this project to make sure we can deliver on our promise.
We understand that there are unforeseen events that may happen, but we will persevere through any bumps in the road along the way. To show you how we're even further mitigating risks, we have the creators of the animation tool, Nima behind us that will be providing us full development support throughout the project.
This is the game we want to make and we have the responsibility - no, DUTY - to deliver on every promise and every dime contributed. We see Kova as a studio accomplishment, so its release is the highest priority, not only for the company but to every team member.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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