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Story driven turn-based 3D RPG featuring cute, but tough heroes being developed in Unity.
Story driven turn-based 3D RPG featuring cute, but tough heroes being developed in Unity.
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662 backers pledged $28,487 to help bring this project to life.

Episodic Content

Posted by CrashGem (Creator)

This is a pretty big announcement. And a big update.

We have made the decision to release Churbles as an ongoing series of episodic games rather than one large beefy indie RPG.

What do you mean by episodic?

From wikipedia, “An episodic video game is a video game of a shorter length that is commercially released as an installment to a continuous and larger series. Episodic games differ from conventional video games in that they often contain less content but are developed on a more frequent basis.” A fantastic example of games like this are the “Walking Dead” and “Wolf among Us” series from TellTale Games.

Everyone involved in the Churble World project is completely in love with the setting, the creatures, the characters, and the stories we plan to tell. These stories have grown too big and complex to fit into a single game. Given the size of our team and the scale of the story telling the whole thing in one go would delay any release by an extended period of time. Compromising on story and game content to make a shorter, easier, faster to produce game would only be cheating you out of a great experience.

With Episodic releases we can get the game into your hands quickly and begin telling the stories of Churble World with the proper depth and pacing they deserve. Another amazing part of this process is that fan feedback can play a major role in CHANGING the progression of the stories being told as we have time between episodes to adapt and alter elements based on community input.

What does this mean for our backurs?

Every copy of the game attained through the kickstarter or through the paypal funding will entitle the backer to the first 4 episodes of Churbles: “Bleats of Rage” and the 3 episode story arc “Ghosts of War.” These 4 episodes encompass the storyline we had intended for the game Churbles, but will leave room for further adventures through additional episodes.

But I’m a Royal Guard! How does this affect beta testing?

Each episode will need to be beta-tested before release and thus, any members of the royal guard are going to have early access to all episodes of churble we release, even past episode 4 and beyond.

But what happens to Legendary Smiths and Tailors? Will all the legendary stuff be released in the first episode?

No. It will be spread out across all 4 episodes. However, Legendary Smiths and Tailors will be receiving a copy of their designed item when they begin the first episode.

Let’s answers a few more questions that have been coming up:

How long are these episodes going to be?

Each episode will be about 4-6 hours long depending on how many side quests and secrets you plan to uncover. Some episodes will have stand alone stories, while others, like the “Ghosts of War” storyline, will tell smaller interconnected stories that weave together to form a larger, grander tale.

Will my decisions and progress carry over from one episode to the next?

Absolutely, and this is one of the the best benefits of working with episodic content.

Will the game have voice acting?

Yes it will. We have started doing in house read throughs of the episode 1 script and will be reaching out to voice talent over the next month or two.

When will the game be out on (insert console of your choice)?

The game will be built and tested in Unity for a PC environment. Linux and Mac will follow, and consoles after that. While launches on everything all at once would be incredible, it is not possible given the size of our team.

But WHEN is the game coming out? The kickstarter says December 2014.

It does. With the move to episodic content we have a very good chance of the first episode being ready in time. However, we will not release the game untested, unpolished, or heaven forbid unfinished just to have the game released “on time.” That’s unfair to you the backers and players, and it’s unfair to us the creators. We will take the time to make this thing right; something we can all enjoy and be proud of.

We are making our best efforts to balance development with communications to the public. Steady updates, dev journals, and the like will keep you informed of our progress.

Hopefully this update answers any questions you might have, but as always we are here to answer any others you might have.

Farris Goldstein, Manje Jung, and 5 more people like this update.


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    1. Kickstarter Account on

      I don't like it personally. That wasn't part of the vision of the project. I get that sometimes things need to change but this seems a bit like a bait and switch. More than anything kickstarters who do this make people more and more wary of kickstarter in general. Hope you prove me wrong and make an excellent game than works in this format I'm just not so hopeful given the history of episodic content (Half Life 2 Episode 3 anyone....).

    2. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      It says in the update, it will be four episodes total. A self-contained single episode and a 3-part episode.
      What does this mean for our backurs?

      Every copy of the game attained through the kickstarter or through the paypal funding will entitle the backer to the first 4 episodes of Churbles: “Bleats of Rage” and the 3 episode story arc “Ghosts of War.” These 4 episodes encompass the storyline we had intended for the game Churbles, but will leave room for further adventures through additional episodes.

    3. Ruben Felip on

      I'm sorry, I didn't understand. How many episodes do we get access to? For example, I backed the $75 tier. So I should get access to the original game which is 7 episodes long. and each episodes take about 4-6 hours to beat. Right? this also means that the original game as a whole would be about 28-48 hours long right?

      That's some good news right there! But I have to agree with my fellow posters, it does leave a weird aftertaste suddenly finding out that the final project is not what was presented, nor what was backed. Sure, you have a point, this could ultimately be for the better, but even though you informed us of the change, I feel left out. I know this is weird. Ultimately this is your game, since you are the ones making it, but since I backed it, I feel a sense of ownership over the game, sorry. I think it would be better if we were consulted in some things such as these.

      Not that you should ask for our opinions over every little detail, but at the same time, this isn't a little detail.

    4. Missing avatar


      Oddly enough, when I saw this update, I found that I wasn't surprised at all. In the kickstarter FAQ section there's a mention of future expansions and so on, so essentially all that's happening here is instead of one big self-contained game with a lot of smaller expansions, it's just being broken up into more bite-sized pieces from the start.

      Which honestly, to me at least, doesn't feel a whole lot different from "[i]t is also our intention to release addition expansions after launch, these will be self contained storylines with scaling enemies" aspect that was there in the project description since the campaign was running.

    5. CrashGem Creator on

      On backurs and feeling misled. Why would we do this?

      Our choice to switch to episodic content was not an easy one, and a lot of deliberation went into the final decision. The number one question we asked ourselves was how will this affect our backurs? We looked at every reward tier and asked, how would this work with the new format? We also looked at the pros and cons of the two types of content release, traditional and episodic.

      We have a rare opportunity here as indie developers to takes risks and try new things. We have the opportunity to involve the community in the building of an entire world. We can release a game digitally, across the world, on multiple platforms. And in this instance, we have an opportunity to be pioneers in a new form of storytelling for games. That was the appeal, and also the challenge that we chose to undertake.

      Episodic content is so new, unproven, and under-explored that it’s very hard to argue for it one way or the other. But backur Orson Cream does an excellent job in his earlier post.

      This is key. Each episode will have a beginning and end. you will not be left with a tremendous heart wrenching cliffhanger at the conclusion of each one, but instead will resolve your current story while building momentum for the larger story being told. a story that, as pointed out, you the players will help shape. Your guild hall, your characters, and the world will continue to evolve together. Areas will be revisited and changed. Decisions will impact your experience in future episodes. And your voice will help tell the story.

      An excellent example of this is the show “Arrow.” The tech savvy Felicity was meant to be a 1 or 2 time background plot NPC, but audiences loved the character so much, she was made a core member of the cast. Had they made the entire season in advance, that could not have happened, a great character, and an exciting fan driven change to the entire series would have been missed.

      It’s new, and mostly untested, and the best example we have is a zombie game about a zombie show about a zombie comicbook. And new and unexplored territory is always scary. But it is also exciting. And rather than worry about what could go wrong, or what has gone wrong with other projects, we, as a community should be thinking of ways to make this new frontier of storytelling as successful, as rewarding, and as exciting as we possibly can.

      A big change like this must mean the project is in jeopardy.

      Not so. A big change like this means our team discovered the episodic release model, became excited about the possibilities, met for several weeks to discuss it, and unanimously agreed to embrace the challenge and opportunities it presented, even though it meant additional work, and an evolution of the way we do things on our end.

      On the topic of funding.

      Our decision to go with episodic content was not based on anything financial. We crowdfunded this project with specific goals in mind: pro licenses for our Unity devs, funding for console release and engaging the community at large in the development of our game. Something we have done very well. Backurs are being added to the lore of the world of Churbles as well as making suggestions that we in turn use and develop.

      With the additional funding we have been able to increase art quality as well as acquire some very powerful dev tools for the project. In effect, all additional money past our goal has gone right back into making a better game. The rest of the project has and continues to be funded privately by the team. If that was not the case, 15k or even 100k would not have been enough money to successfully fund the project.

      And to answer @Jito463’s question about pricing:

      Most episodes will retail at 4.99 or less. Episodes linked in a story arc will be available in “season pass” format for the brave of heart. I say that because it is completely understandable to be wary of a subscribing to a new and untested service, which is what episodic games really are. Some episodes will be made available for free as a way to introduce more people to Churbles or simply to celebrate the community and the game itself. So in the case of our backurs you will be receiving more content for your money taking into account the various rewards offered through the KS campaign.

    6. Calvin David Chur-syth on

      I feel like a lone wolf here. I enjoy games that keep providing new content.
      ...That's all I have to pitch in here.

    7. Marlena Harris

      I admit reading this had me stunned and not in a good way. I'm not going to claim I am good at finishing games, but i will put more hours into games I don't finish, but enjoy than a lot of people will put into finishing them. I'm talking not finishing a game in eighty hours when it's supposed to take fourty hours to play. I love long sprawling game play, that's not open ended, but still gives you the freedom to play for hours past it's intended time period. A game that lasts a mere six to eight hours, when that's my "I'd rather go off and do this random thing" time period is not what I look for. And i'm with Jito, when I get to the end of a game, if there isn't more immediate content, I'm a whole lot less likely to keep playing.

      I'm not saying I wouldn't have backed if I'd known this in advance, but quite frankly the examples you gave (which my brother has played and told me about) would give me enough pause to worry.

      I would much rather you create a single complete game which is much longer and later create a long sequal than have multiple mini games like this. At the very least, I'd like it if once you complete the episodes that you make a complete game that takes out the episodic qualities to it and keeps it as one streamless game.

      I still love Churbles, but I don't love this game format.

    8. Missing avatar

      Ryen on

      Seems we've got a mixed crowd here. I'm in a mid-boat. I like full games. I like episodic. But, I backed this, and that is because I support your project as a whole no matter what, so I will follow you to the end and look forward to everything associated with it.
      The episodic work could play out very well.

    9. Dawn_

      Well, i hate episodic stuff and i tend to not back them. So, i can't say i am thrilled with this decision. I agree with everyone here and everything that has been stated.

      Plus, i tend to be angry at every actions and every words that make backers passing for fools and screwing us behind our back after we have given our money. Not only for me but for everyone. Sure we have something out of a project, but, we also want to "help" create something, otherwise we'll wait for the release on digital platform.

      And everytime, someone (a creator) is going back on his words, taking crucial decision after the KS (like with torment when the decision of TB was said after the end of the KS), running away with the money, it's a little of trust that disappear.

      Trust from good people, because mostly people who back on KS aren't jerks. We want to participate, help create dreams, and share.

      Sorry, for the rant people and nothing specially with ou CrashGem, but those kind of events..are so common that it's annoying. We don't care for delays.

      But, rather that not be straight with us or honest (i am talking to all creators) with us, then please don't do a KS. If you want to screw people over and just makes money, do trading rather than come here.

    10. Oh Zhi Wei

      I must say this comes as a total shocker, I agree with motoki that this feels abit mislead, I mean if its announced to be episodic from the start I'd also be alot less inclined to play/back. Thing is after finishing a part and then you go play other games by the time I come back to the 2nd part I would've totally forgotten what went on in the first one.

      I would also prefer a traditional game done in one short despite it could be delayed.

      And I still love the churbles a lot, just that the only episodic game that people has heard of or is successful thus far is the walking dead, because people watch the tv series and stuff.

      If you want to make things where decision carry over and have effect , you can do that as abit of new game +, or a future churbles 2..

      Just thought I'd post my thoughts, was about to go sleep when I saw the post..

    11. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      I'm just the opposite. If it's broken up, I tend to be less excited about playing it. I still haven't finished Burial at Sea for Bioshock Infinite.

    12. Gearsoul Dragon

      I can understand where you guys are coming from(also), but I'm actually kinda excited for this(despite the fact it seems that Wii U will constantly have to wait an unspecified amount of time after release before it gets its own release... At least I'll be able to beta them on PC!), because a single, large game is released and then.... That's it.

      With an episodic game it totally fits the game type to continue releasing affordable, short games that you can run through, remembering how much you love the game!

      ... As opposed to one large game you never finish because by the time you get anywhere in it another game you think is awesome and that you must have has come around or you already had it, tried it, and stopped playing the first one.

      Episodic format allows for a different dimension if 'pick up & play' because you continue to get new releases to remind you to play it even when you have new games to distract you.

      And you can have spin-offs that follow something like a side-quest, the adventures of another character in the main story or even a completely unrelated story without it feeling out of place, because it feels more like picking a little story book off the shelf to zip through before bedtime with the whole shelf of short stories being set in the same world.

      ... As opposed to hauling the original, rather hefty combined Lord of the Rings book off the shelf and it being (one of) the only book(s) on that shelf.

      :D Plus, fan/player/backer feedback between episodes is a legitimately awesome thing.

      "D= Nooo, you have to let him live & redeem himself! He's the best character!!!"

      "OMG, that villain was nowhere near convincing/good enough! You should make it like he was pretending to be that lame all along so as to be underestimated!"

      "I'd reeaally like to see more of Blah-Character! They seemed so interesting but you hardly gave them any 'screen time' at all!"

    13. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      I understand where you're coming from Motoki, and to an extent I agree with you. I still have yet to finish TWD S1, and that's despite buying them all at one time. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I'm a bit disappointed, as well.

    14. Motoki on

      I get the reasons for doing this but I can't say that I'm thrilled about this. Episodic content not only means it takes longer for the backers/customers to get the full game but it's also riskier as there's a chance it may never get done. And yes I realize that's not the intent here but as backers we don't know that for sure. I'm just saying it carries more risk in my opinion.

      Another thing is it's difficult for me to get back in the mindset of a game and remember what happened and so forth with such long breaks. I know others who feel the same and have seen comments from people stating they intend to wait until the series is complete for those episodic games like Telltale.

      I hear multiple developers citing Telltale when wanting to move to episodic content but they are one group that has been successful with it. There are others that haven't been successful with it or that really struggled and had long delays like Winter Voices.

      To be completely blunt, if I knew this was going to be an episodic content situation I probably would not have backed and definitely not at the level I did. I do feel a bit mislead even though I know that was not the intention at the time or now.

      Really I would have preferred the game be released as one complete entity even if it meant significant delay.

      I'm also a bit concerned that this project is in serious trouble to go to such a drastic move like this, especially when this was NOT what was stated at the time that we all backed. I actually backed another project where the Kickstarter failed so the developer stated he would do episodic content with direct pre-order/backing but then that too failed when he found he wouldn't have enough funds even for that. Luckily in that case we all got our money back but even no now I have burned in my mind that a sudden drastic switch to episodic content means a project is in real danger.

      Maybe it's not the case here, I don't know. I just don't think such a move would be done lightly and that there must be money problems that necessitate needing to get more funds much sooner than when the project as a whole will be complete.

      Still not thrilled here but I hope you can finish the project, preferably without more radical changes like this. The takeaway for me from this is that I will be much more cautious about backing Kickstart projects in the future. I may stop entirely or if I do back it will probably be at the lowest level from here on in. This was the most I backed on a project and it was a lot for me. This whole situation is making me regret that.

      I'm sorry that is not what you guys or some of the other fans and backers may want to hear but I just have to be honest.

    15. Jito463 - WoOS, LofUT on

      How much do you estimate the episodes will cost individually? Just wondering, for those purchasing after the fact, or for copies bought later as gifts.

    16. Weakwall on

      Now how should i express to this, as a wii u supporter? Hmm, I don't know. Instead i wonder: will churles appear on NIntendo's e3 streaming? I'll wait and see. For both those questions.