Versione in italiano (Italian version): https://goo.gl/AzhpkZ
The Ballad Singer is an RPG/Visual Novel, set in a fantasy world which is completely governed by the player's choices.
We've taken elements from game-books and visual novels to develop a videogame with an unprecedented format. TBS offers a fantasy story yet to be written, where the world changes and reacts to the player's actions. This will allow you to live up to 1700 stories and 40 different endings, your decisions will affect the way the tale unfolds. Every single development and subplot in your story will be completely narrated and illustrated, even the smallest ones. Death is final, you won't be able to go back to try and correct your mistakes. In TBS, every choice is crucial.
Pre-Alpha footage gameplay video
In Cooperative Battles, two playable characters will join together by combining their abilities with extraordinary results! This is your first quest in TBS, if your friends will finance the game through this *LINK*, reaching 100%, you will unlock this new feature within the game for all Kickstarter backers! (Remember to use just that link because it's the only way we have to track new supporters!)
The Domino System is what allows you to live thousands of different narratives within The Ballad Singer. The paths will change according to your actions, the characters you have selected, and their progress or failures. The system is inspired by Neural Networks and Chaos Theory. Each choice you'll make will influence the options at your disposal, not just for the character you'll be using in that moment, but also for the others.
Upon the death of one hero, you’ll begin playing with another adventurer, in a world that has been completely reshaped by the previous choices. In the single player campaign, you'll play as one of the four main characters, following their adventures in the world of Hesperia.
The main elements considered by the Domino System are the selected character and the decisions you'll be taking. The heroes are four different adventurers, each with their own features. You will shape their fate, through your actions. Each decision unfolds a new page in your story, told by the narrating voice and depicted by the illustrations. Surviving will be hard, anticipating the repercussions of your choices on the other side of the world will be almost impossible. By killing the dragon, will Leon have saved the town from its fury? Or has he shifted the whole balance of the region? If Leon were to die in the fight, would he condemn the whole country? Could the dragon favor one of the factions?
Over your ballad, you'll be able to play with up to four adventurers, each with his or her own goals and limits. Some much stronger than others. They don't know it, but their own individual destiny is in the hands of each other. Through your decisions you'll be able to favor or compromise the aspirations of the other adventures and of the entire world of Hesperia!
Our goal is ambitious: to rearrange the fundamentals of the Fantasy genre, creating something completely new. The world of Hesperia is a fantastic yet realistic universe, where the laws of science merge with those of magic.
The magic system itself, the enemies, and the monsters are all treated individually, each match has been studied to be different: you will never find the same situation twice or a "default" method to approach fights.
Each match will be potentially lethal if not approached with caution. Magic is based on the control of natural elements, but it is rare and hard to master. Magical objects are legends, and wizards themselves need to wear armor, as melee fights come by often and can rarely be avoided.
Hesperia is a cruel world, merciless on unprepared adventurers. Don't trust anyone, use your instinct and your knowledge, this is the only way to survive and to continue your quest.
The RPG component in TBS is highly important. Only through a deep understanding of the characters and their abilities, just as with the story of the game world, will you be able to face the challenges of The Ballad Singer at your best, getting to the end of your tale.
You'll often be called upon to make choices based on wit, strategy, and even ethics. Use your common sense, but don't forget the past of the characters and their ambitions. Each choice could change the aspect, the equipment, the morality and the psyche of our heroes. The characters are as dynamic as the world, and are reshaped with each choice.
Playing without empathizing with the heroes, taking random decisions, will often result in their death. However, in The Ballad Singer, dying is part of the story, so it's not a "Game Over". When the character you're playing as dies, you will be able to play as a new hero, within the same story, in a different narrative path.
Your ballad will be over only once you are out of available characters, either because they're dead, killed by your decisions, or simply because you haven't met them yet. This aspect shouldn’t be seen as a negative, as we've decided that each narrative path must have the same relevance.
Playing through the game more than once is a paramount part of the experience, if faced without the fundamental premises of any Role-Playing Game, it will indeed result in a hard and perilous journey.
The “My Ballad” mode lets you write your story in the world of Hesperia, starting by selecting one of the available characters. Throughout your adventure, depending on your choices, you will also have the chance to play as other heroes, moving towards final or intermediate endings, goals and failures, new tales or death.
Once your campaign is over, a map will be displayed, showing the narrative paths you have taken, the characters you have played with, and the goals you have achieved, allowing you to share your experience with other The Ballad Singer players.
Facing the "Hot-seat" campaign mode, you'll have the chance to share the experience with a friend, who will select a second character. You will begin the story with your hero and, upon death or the completion of a chapter, the second player will take his turn, making his way through the world of Hesperia with another adventurer. However, the world won't be the same, as it will have been influenced by his decisions and by those of the previous player! This mode opens a series of cooperative and competitive dynamics. Playing in competitive mode, a complex system of trophies and scores will decide the winner, while, opting for cooperation, once the game ends, the final results will display all your contributions! The "Hot-seat" mode is offline, and has been designed to give you the opportunity to share the story with a friend, taking turns.
Music in TBS plays a fundamental role, all characters have their own soundtrack, just as every region and situation. These aspects have been thought out to make players experience every different combination of situations as a unique event. Two composers are working on the soundtrack: Michael Firmont and Gianluca Ferro. Beside working on a German TV series, Michael collaborates with several composers, directors and producers in Los Angeles and London and has written music for different international movies and projects.
Gianluca is a talented composer and guitar player, and has published several records. His last one, "A Hole in the Ocean", came out in 2016.
A feature you'll find particularly useful when on the move, unwilling to leave the adventure behind, is the cross-platform integration for TBS! After the Windows/Mac versions, and any other reached through our stretch goals, we intend to release a mobile version of the game. You'll be able to use the Cross-platform saving system though all the versions!
We've put together an extremely valuable set of reward packages for our backers. We know you're taking a leap of faith with us, and we want to make sure you’ll feel our appreciation when we launch.
Complete game: Kickstarter version of The Ballad Singer, contains an additional 10% of the story which won’t be in the retail version.
Digital map of Hesperia (printable): right after closing the Kickstarter campaign, we'll send the high resolution printable map of Hesperia.
Survival Kit: digital pamphlet with survival tips and tricks for this fearsome world.
Beta access: Beta (October 2018)
Alpha access: Alpha (September 2018)
Digital Artbook: a collection of the best artworks.
Physical Artbook: a collection of the best artworks in a hard cover limited edition collector's book (A5R Size).
Digital signed prints: a collection of our favorite artworks signed by our artist.
Digital Mistery box (3 different boxes): Mistery Boxes might contain deleted scenes, alternative scenes, mysterious artworks or work in progress material.
Community exclusive chat: live chat on the development of TBS with the other fans!
History of Hesperia (digital book): A short book narrating the events before those told in TBS, summarizing the stories told in the fantasy novels of the Kalesin Saga.
Physical Poster: you'll receive a poster of the fight between Leon and the dragon! (50x70cm ~ 20”x27”)
Map of Hesperia (physical): you'll receive the map of Hesperia, so you'll never lose your way! (50x70cm ~ 20”x27”)
Figures: you'll receive resin miniatures of Leon and Ancoran, to be assembled and painted, complete with stand. The figures are 35mm tall without the stand, perfect for war games and collectors.
Original documents scans: you'll receive the scans with comments of some of the original game documents. Within, you'll find all the details that brought TBS to life!
Skype call: talk with the creator of TBS and get your share of curiosity filled!
Create a monster with the team: take part in creating a monster, send us your sketches, or simply tell us how it should be!
Chat developer: enter our team's private chat and find out every secret before anyone else!
Create an entire scene: outline a background and the situations of the scene, create a story that will be added to TBS!
Create an important NPC: create a character who'll have strong repercussions on the story of TBS!
As regards our shipping policy, thanks to our agreements with several European and American partners, we'll be able to keep the costs down as much as possible. It's very important to us that the reward price be as close as possible to the final amount, including shipping! This is why the shipments will always be lower than 15€(~18$), even for the farthest and heaviest shipments. Any additional expense will be on our behalf!
ADD-ON INSTRUCTIONS: To add an add-on to your pledge, follow these steps:
• 1) Press the “Manage Your pledge” button above. If you have not pledged yet, it will say “Back this Project”. You must had chosen at least the 27€ reward tier.
• 2) Increase your pledge in the “Pledge Amount” box by the total of the add-ons you want to add. If you want to receive multiple copies of the same reward, simply multiply the bid for the number of copies you want.
• 3) After the end of the Kickstarter campaign you will receive a survey that will ask you questions so that you can explain how you would like the add-on money assigned.
Up to now we've worked with our own personal funds to pay all the partners. However, to be able to finish The Ballad Singer within a reasonable time, supporting all costs, we decided to ask you, our backers, for help. Reaching the target goal, we'll be able to release the game within the estimated time. The Ballad Singer, as it has been created, has a high potential, and could easily see the addition of several contents. We have the chance to create an even richer game. It's not just about reaching the initial goal, but exceeding it, to further refine the development process. This means we'll be able to add even more elements! Below, we've detailed how the 25,000€ of the initial goal will be spent. Please note that the initial goal covers, with fees and taxes, less than 1/3 of the project costs. The rest of the funds will be added by our team members.
Since the Kickstarter goal covers less than 1/3 of the project budget, why ask for our help? If we fail in reaching even this minimum threshold, it would mean that the project is not as interesting as we'd hoped. Besides, our savings wouldn't be enough to cover the entire budget.
Join the community:
Risks and challenges
Developing video games is an expensive and complex business, particularly if you mean to create a completely illustrated and narrated dynamic world. There have been many roadblocks during the development; bringing together the team, and maintaining the vision of the game for all this time has been a huge challenge. We have studied a gameplay system which is simple, yet with lots of elements, and the difficulty lies in correctly matching all of them; of course, we'll do whatever it takes to see this game completed in its entirety.
We are ready for this challenge and we want this to be the first great step to create something different, something you'll love as much as we do!
- (31 days)