About this project
Paypal Option (Not part of Kickstarter)
Kickstarter does not support Paypal. Some people can't use Amazon payments through Kickstarter, so I have opened up an external Paypal page! Please check it out here: http://www.disastercake.com/paypal/pledge.php
This option is not supported by Kickstarter, but I will put the pledges towards stretch goals!
What's a Disastercake?
Disastercake is one normal guy with one large dream: to make games he's passionate about. This guy's name is Mike Gale... and that's me! I've been working on Soul Saga for years as many roles including a programmer, game designer, and technical artist. I also outsource a lot of Soul Saga's art to talented artists around the world using my life's savings. I use to work at Microsoft in their games department, but I've quit that comfy job to work on Soul Saga, a game inspired by classic J-RPGs. You can read a little more about that here.
Why a J-RPG?
J-RPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games) are the reason I fell in love with the game industry. When I was young, I spent countless hours playing games like Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and Persona.
What attracted me to J-RPGs was that they are one of the most impressive forms of multimedia to date. They contain nearly all forms of media in one beautifully orchestrated piece of art. Traditional art, graphic design, 3D, music, sound, lighting, cinematography, choreography, script writing, acting, story telling, and a whole lot more!
But it's a fine balance. If one part seems off, the rest suffers greatly. For this reason, it's also one of the most challenging forms of media to orchestrate successfully. I hunger for that challenge!
Kickstarter is this great place where amazing people, like you, get to help indie developers, like me, make a game we both love!
Video games can cost a lot to make, especially for an RPG like Soul Saga. To build an immersive story and gameplay you need to create characters, environments, and music from the ground up.
So what happens when people like you and me want that old school J-RPG experience we used to have? We get on Kickstarter and we pledge to the projects who are willing to take the risk to make this type of game happen!
So the most important thing about Kickstarter... is YOU! Without amazing people like you helping projects like Soul Saga, dreams like this may never happen. Thank you for making these projects possible!
Add-On Rewards allow you to order extra items! This will allow you to get extra swag, and help support Soul Saga even more.
Step 1. Pledge to a tier like normal.
Step 2. Go back and adjust your tier to the amount you calculate from the information below.
The pricing for the following items are for a single unit. If you would like more, then please multiply that number by the quantity you would like.
Please check out the add-on pricing here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/disastercake/soul-saga-a-j-rpg-inspired-by-playstation-classics/posts/534257
Step 2.5. For international shipping please add $25 for smaller orders and $40 for larger.
Step 3. You will be sent a survey when the items are ready to be printed to determine which you wanted!
Please Note: You do not need to directly message me about add-ons after adjusting your pledge. I found out that I can send you a survey later on about add-ons. I can not adjust the wording in the tiers, so they do not reflect this new information. Just ignore the part where it says "message me". ;)
If you have any questions, though, then please do message me directly! =D
Steam Greenlight is the process that the digital distribution company, Valve, requires indies go through to get their games on Steam! Steam is a huge marketplace, and it could really help push Soul Saga's sales so that the next game can be even better! Greenlight takes a LOT of votes to let a project pass, so it's important that Soul Saga starts getting upvoted as early as possible to make it on Steam. If you have an account on Steam, please take a moment to upvote Soul Saga!
Soul Saga is gonna be on WiiU!
Soul Saga will be coming to your living room and taking advantage of the intuitive WiiU controller! If you would like a WiiU key, please add $10 to your pledge! A survey later on will help me determine add-ons, so you do not need to message me directly regarding add-ons. (The tier information on the side can not be altered, so please ignore the section that says "message me")
Soul Saga is gonna be on Playstation 4 and PS Vita!
That's right! Soul Saga gets to honor its roots by being on your Vita or Playstation 4 consoles! If you would like a PS4 or Vita key, please add $10 to your pledge! Sony has not announced if the PS4 will be cross-buy enabled or not. If they do announce that it is, then Soul Saga will support cross-buy. For now, please assume you are only getting a key for one system per ordered key. A survey later on will help me determine add-ons, so you do not need to message me directly regarding add-ons. (The tier information on the side can not be altered, so please ignore the section that says "message me")
Stretch Goal List
Stretch goals are goals we have after the initial funding that help make the game much more epic! To reach them, we'll all have to work together to make sure that everyone knows about Soul Saga! There are a lot of fans like us out there; we just have to find them together! Please share Soul Saga on Twitter, Facebook, forums, and anywhere else you can think of!
Soul Saga is a story driven RPG with environmental puzzles and turn based combat styled after Final Fantasy 10, with its own twists!
Soul Saga uses a battle initiation system similar to Chrono Trigger. Combat is initiated when you come into physical contact with a wandering enemy, or are ambushed by devious foes.
When in combat, enemies will often have slight puzzle elements to defeating them.
For example, if an enemy is using a strong steel shield to block and deflect attacks, then the player will need to use a smashing technique to break the defense.
However, if the shield is enhanced with a fire barrier then melee attackers will be greatly damaged and set on fire when approaching. To counter this, a character can use a wind or water based skill, such as Elise's water bomb, to temporarily douse the flame and allow the character with a smashing ability to break the defense.
Since the shield is made of steel, this makes the enemy susceptible to electrocution. So if one of your characters uses a lightning based skill, you will stun the enemy and have an opening to deal damage without needing to smash through the barrier or douse the flame.
If an ally is unfortunately set on fire, they will take damage over time and be stunned for the duration while they try to get the flames off of them. You can hasten their recovery by using Elise's previously mentioned water bomb to douse the flame and save your ally!
There's a whole lot more unique twists to the different ways to fight your enemies. Discovering your enemies' weaknesses for yourself will be one of the funnest parts of the game!
Each of the main characters in Soul Saga has a unique energy resource system that functions in different ways. This helps add a bit more dynamic game play than only using 1 universal energy system.
For example, Mithos uses an energy resource called "Focus". This energy increases naturally by attacking and using basic skills, and is then spent by using a skill that temporarily transforms his current skill load out into more powerful skills. The potency of these skills scales with the amount of "Focus" Mithos has accumulated before transforming them.
Elise uses "Gadgets" which requires her to expend a turn and restock them if too low. Different skills require different amounts of "Gadgets" to be loaded into the current clip. For example, Elise can lay caltrops next to an ally to damage any melee attacker that approaches that ally, and it may cost 3 gadgets of her 6 to use.
Shh.. it's a secret!
Who doesn't love finding secret dungeons and treasure guarded by the fiercest of foes? Soul Saga will be full of secrets both large and small. Some will be gained from interesting achievements, others by thinking creatively to hidden puzzles scattered across the world. Some secrets are powerful treasures, others are whole new levels. You can expect to find something new each time you play Soul Saga!
Oterra was a once lush and vibrant world, but it's surface is now wasted after the events of an ancient cataclysm. The planet is now split into 3 distinguishable layers: the Sky Islands of Medonia, the Tempest Reef, and the Surface World of Oterra.
This cataclysm was caused by a mysterious corruption called Ink that mutated the world's creatures into monsters called Inkheart. The Inkheart ravaged society and mercilessly destroyed civilizations as they spread across the world. The last haven for humanity, Medonia, was saved by a mysterious man called the Philosopher. The Philosopher introduced the science of Alchemy to Medonia's people under the condition they stop using machinery. They complied, and took up arms using their new Alchemical powers, but it was too late. The Dragons of Oterra had succumbed to the Ink corruption and joined the assault against Medonia. As a last effort, the Philosopher used his powers to raise Medonia off of the planet and into the sky, setting it safely on the clouds above and out of the reach of the Dragons.
Medonia and Guilds
Medonia is a floating city in the sky called home by millions of people. It is a democratic nation run by 9 Guild Masters (The World Council) that the citizens vote into office every few years. There are hundreds of Guilds in Medonia that act similar to contracting agencies for different types of jobs that assist society and its citizens. These jobs range from extermination of monsters, to body guards, and even special delivery services. There are many regulations for Guilds that restrict them from becoming too powerful or corrupt. Some examples are that every Guild member is legally responsible for the actions of other Guild members, and Guilds are not allowed to sell goods directly to the general public. Regulations like these help keep the Guilds in order and also prevent citizens from feeling they are required to join one to live their lives to the fullest.
The Golden Dawn
The most prominent religion is the Order of the Golden Dawn, which strictly upholds the original teachings of the Philosopher, including his banning of machinery. Contrary to the Golden Dawn's beliefs, machines have started to increase in popularity after hundreds of years without them. The Golden Dawn publicly pushes for government regulations against machinery, and it has been rumored that they are also involved in shady terrorist acts of sabotaging large machinery that results in injuring thousands of people.
The Tempest Reef
The Tempest Reef is a protective barrier of storm clouds that Medonia sits on. This barrier is the only thing keeping the islands safe from the terrors of the Ink corruption that ravages the planet below. Nothing can pass through the Tempest Reef without being utterly annihilated.
300 years after it's conception, the Tempest Reef is weakening, and the Islands of Medonia are dying and falling from the sky. There are rumors of a passage called Cloud's End that will allow a ship passage through the Tempest Reef to the surface world below. It is assumed that Mithos' father had found this passage, but he left no trace of its existence behind. The Guilds of Medonia now search for Cloud's End in hope to find a cure for their dying islands somewhere on the surface of Oterra.
Mithos is an optimistic young man with a love for adventure. His life dream is to become the strongest Guild Master in the world, a title currently held by his late father.
Mithos loves his mother, but hates his dad. This attitude has evolved from years of Mithos’ father always being away for work, and him also being used as a measuring stick for Mithos by his teachers and peers.
About 10 years ago, Mithos’ father took his Guild down to the surface of Oterra to destroy the King of the Dragons so that the people of Medonia could once again live in their ancient home world. Even though Mithos’ father lead the strongest and most influential Guild in history, none of them have been seen since they left.
This year, Mithos graduates from his University, and is ready to finally take the steps towards his dream. Determined to earn the title of “World’s Strongest Guild Master” for himself, Mithos has joined the race to save Medonia. Except he’s not looking for a cure for the islands; he has his eyes set on doing the one thing his dad couldn't: killing the King of the Dragons. But to have a chance he’ll need a lot of strong allies, so that’s why he’s starting a guild… right now!
Elise is a passionate inventor and talented engineer with the dream to become the best mechanic in Medonia. She likes to point out that she’s also the cutest mechanic in Medonia, which is true considering that it’s a male dominated profession. She’s been friends with Mithos since they were children. Even though they've been together their whole lives, Elise still finds it irritating that Mithos is absolutely terrible when it comes to machines. She has a very strict policy of treating machines like equals, not as simple tools, and tends to get a little violent around people who don’t follow the same mentality. Elise is reluctant to follow Mithos on his insanely dangerous adventure, but she struggles with her secret love for him. Will she really let Mithos face the World Eater alone?
Max is a burly, worker-class robot with the most advanced artificial intelligence ever developed. Though his AI is unique, its usefulness is dampened by the fact he portrays the maturity level of a young child. He sometimes tends to be on the shy side, but will jump to Elise’s aid at the slightest sense of danger. He looks up to Mithos as a role model and hopes to one day be as brave as him. Max is constantly hunted by a notorious bounty hunter group for reasons he refuses to reveal to his friends. Why is the bounty on Max so large, and for how long can Mithos and Elise keep their robot friend safe?
Taro is a Toki shaman with an even stronger urge for adventure than Mithos. Taro's unique wings and horns are the result of a stunted Ink mutation he incurred while protecting his village. The mutation has caused Taro to have a split personality that sometimes turns him into a blood thirsty killer. Taro's transformations are getting more frequent, but he still has enough control not to hurt his friends... for now.
The Toki are a nomadic race of adorable rabbit-people that live deep inside the Tempest Reef. Despite their cute appearances, the Toki are some of the most fearsome warriors in the world. Due to their short life spans, the Toki feel very rushed to accomplish great things in a short amount of time. This often leads to them acting irrationally "brave" in dangerous situations.
Garen is the tyrannical leader of one of the strongest guilds in Medonia. He currently holds a seat on the World Council, Medonia's official body of government. He also possesses the unique power to control the monstrous Inkheart. His goal is to find a way to control the World Eater and its Dragon Brood so he can rule the world. When he first learns of Mithos' goal to destroy the World Eater he sees him as no more than a naive boy, but as Mithos shows potential he begins to take violent action to prevent him from reaching the World Eater.
Inkheart are monsters with uncontrollable urges to destroy. An Inkheart is created when a person, animal, or plant has been mutated by the Ink corruption. The process of mutation is often slow and painful for the infected creature. After the mutation completes, the person loses all sense of sanity and even turns against their loved ones.
The Dragon Brood were the previous masters of the world of Oterra. They ruled over the humans as gods until the invention of the machine, which gave the humans enough strength to drive the dragons into exile. Long after the revolution, the ink corruption eventually reached the Dragons' hidden lairs, and mutated them into the most powerful Inkheart known to history. It's assumed that the corrupted Dragon Brood still causes chaos to the world below Medonia, but the surface world has not been seen by Medonians for hundreds of years.
The Philosopher is a man from legend that dates back to the beginning of Alchemy's inception. The Philosopher introduced Alchemy to the inhabitants of Medonia when they were on the brink of extinction. He later used this same Alchemy to lift the whole nation of Medonia from the surface of Oterra and into the sky. With their floating islands now dying, the Medonians are searching for a way back to the surface of Oterra where they hope to recover the power of the Philosopher to save their home.
Music is one of the most important aspects to a great RPG. When I think back to the classic JRPGs that inspired Soul Saga, the first thing I remember is their amazing tunes. That's why I'm absolutely ecstatic to announce that I will be working with the amazing Aivi Tran! Aivi is an extremely talented musician heavily inspired by the classic RPGs we all love. I could go on for hours about how her music is great, but I would highly recommend you listen for yourself! Your ears will thank you later.
Soul Saga's theme song, "Dream", was created by Terry Chandler, a very talented Japanese composer that creates some of the most beautiful and original J-Pop tunes I have ever heard. Please take a look at Terry's music on youtube!
If you're an anime fan like me then the talented voices behind Mithos and Elise might sound a little familiar to you. They've both had quite a few large roles!
Todd Haberkorn voices Mithos. Todd also voices Natsu from Fairy Tail, Ling Yao from Full Metal Alchemist, and Sergeant Frog from... well, Sergeant Frog! I'm absolutely ecstatic to have Todd bringing Mithos to life with so much character.
Kira Buckland voices Elise. Kira has also voiced Bloody Marie in Skullgirls, Chou-Chou from Mugen Souls, and Kuroyukihime in Accel World. I absolutely love Kira's voice! I can't imagine a more perfect fit for Elise.
By backing Soul Saga at the lowest tier level you get a copy of the game, but if you pledge a little more you can also get a lot of cool swag!
Desktop Wallpapers! Beautiful concept illustrations in high resolution wallpaper form for you to put on your desktop!
A DVD containing a DRM-free physical copy of Soul Saga and a CD of the OST! They come neatly packaged in an amaray case with pretty cover art. The designs above are simply for display, and will be changed before the actual printing.
An Art Book of Soul Saga: Episode 1! This soft covered, fully colored art book will contain both art used in the production of Soul Saga and design notes that help tell the story of how the game progressed to become what it is!
Soul Saga Playing Cards! Play Poker, Go Fish, Euchre, and all your other favorite card games in the company of your new Soul Saga friends!
Soul Saga T-shirts! Your choice of the 2 images above, black or white shirt, and your size. =) The tier on the side mistakenly says "Disastercake Shirts", but these are the correct ones!
Elise Figurine! Have you ever wanted the cutest Mechanic in Medonia staring at you in your sleep? Well now it's possible! The figurine comes with your choice of pre-colored or uncolored. The figurine will be approximately 12 centimeters in height. The model will be subject to changes before final production to make it even better!
Add-On Rewards allow you to order extra items! This will allow you to get extra swag, and help support Soul Saga even more. Please check this page for the instructions:
Free Avatar Badges!
Fans actively engaging in social media is the only way a project like this can succeed! Please support Soul Saga on Facebook, and help spread the word to your friends!
Risks and challenges
You could write a pretty big book about the risks and challenges that come with making a video game. Let's go over a few, shall we?
Challenge #1: Programming
I dedicated years of my life to teaching myself programming so I could tackle this challenge. Programming is the most important part of a video game. You can have a video game without art, but you can't have one without programming! It's difficult, it's tedious, and it's expensive as hell to find a good programmer. Luckily I apparently have a knack at it and can pretty much handle everything that comes my way. And if for some reason I don't know how to do some of the legwork myself, it's alright because I know how to manage other programmers and then integrate what they make into Soul Saga's source code! I have enough confidence to say I could program the remainder of Soul Saga within 3 months if I have all the finished art assets. Which brings us to...
Challenge #2: Art
What a general term when it comes to videos games... Art can really mean anything like concept art, 3D characters, animations, environments, particle effects, sound effects, or music. So when I tell you games need Art, let's just say that it's easier said than done. Not only do things such as concept or character models have to be the same style, every single piece of art that I have just listed needs to be the same style as everything else. This means you gotta be picky. When you're as stylized as Soul Saga, maintaining a consistent style is one of the most important things. This means that my options for artists are narrow, and that gets a little pricey. However, I have so far been successfully able to gather a portfolio of like-minded artisans that produce high quality work within a reasonable budget.
Challenge #3: Word of Mouth Marketing
Marketing is expensive. In fact, it's so expensive that paying for ad spots is usually a pretty bad idea for indie developers targeting niche markets. So then how do indie developers get sales? How do people find out about awesome games like Soul Saga?
You are the chosen one... the chosen one who will lead Soul Saga to it's great destiny! Without you, Soul Saga is nothing. It's up to passionate fans, like you, who want to see great games get done to tell all of your friends, colleagues, and possibly even your enemies! This challenge I can not face alone... I need you! Tweeting, facebooking, google-plussing... you know the drill. Press those "Like" and "Share" buttons like a hero and spread the word. =D
And thank you for supporting Soul Saga! I'd love to chat with you, so please leave some comments on here, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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