Sikanda is a top-down 3D Action-Adventure with RPG elements, inspired by famous classics such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Secret of Mana, Terranigma and Final Fantasy, but also influenced by modern JRPGs like Xenoblade and Bravely Default. The game features realtime action combat, puzzles, optional side-quests, crafting, trading, minigames and more.
The adventure takes place on a fantasy island named Galintrea and combines meaningful storytelling, a memorable character cast, and enchanting locations with beloved, old-school gameplay elements used in a fresh, new way.
Sikanda is the name of a shape-shifting weapon that grants great power to its wielder. It starts off as a simple pendant, but upon completion of your first trial in a so called "Shrine of the Ancestors" the pendant can be transformed into an oversized claymore that easily blows away several fiends at once. Throughout your adventure, you will unlock up to 12 unique transformations which turn Sikanda into useful tools, essential for both combat and puzzles.
However, each power has its limitations. Sikanda is driven by the imagination of its wielder which is quickly drained with use. This is represented by a blue spiral placed beneath the traditional health and mana bars. When it reaches zero, Sikanda will be unavailable for a short time. Use your resources carefully!
The following transformations are planned for the final game:
The gameplay will offer a balanced experience of realtime action combat, exploration, and puzzle solving.
Battles are entirely skill-based and require good timing as well as tactical decision-making. You will have to adopt your actions to the type of monster you are fighting. Fortunately, you can easily switch between Sikanda’s transformations and be creative about the series of attacks (combos) and actions you perform. Find your own style!
Exploration is a key aspect of progressing through your adventure. Take your time to discover secret places and hidden objects all over the world! You will not only be rewarded with useful items or equipment, but also uncover backstories of the game’s lore.
Sikanda also plays an important role in solving the puzzles found in dungeons. Puzzles are based on the interaction between you and your environment and incorporate well-known 2D mechanics in a new way!
In Sikanda you can choose between one of two characters for your adventure, either a boy or a girl, and you are free to pick their name. Oh, and there are rumors that a character customizer is waiting for to be unlocked in one of the planned stretch goals ;)
Stats growth is achieved by consuming magical seeds scattered all over the world. This is a hybrid approach of two popular systems: one is based on collecting experience points (EP) like it is used in most RPGs, the other one is based on progress which is often used in Action-Adventures (for example, the infamous heart containers). Magical seeds can be obtained in various different ways, but their number is limited and you are encouraged to explore as many aspects of the world as possible in order to max out your character's stats.
Here are some of the ways to find magical seeds:
- Find them in treasure chests or hidden locations.
- Some monsters leave them behind under certain conditions.
- Get them as a reward for finishing quests.
- You might receive them on special occasions when interacting with NPCs.
- Engage in trading and some merchants may sell them to you.
There are three kinds of seeds and eight attributes that can be grown. For best flexibility, it's up to you which attributes to focus on during character development:
The game features a realtime action-based battle system which demands that you respond quickly to situations and makes tactical decisions on how to confront enemies. Button mashing is not encouraged as the enemies are very different in their nature and behavior. Use the available transformations of Sikanda that best fit your situation.
Many optional side-quests await you. Visit taverns and other gathering places to meet people looking for help. Quests will be tied to a friendship system: Some quests must be completed to become friends with certain NPCs and some friendships must be established before unlocking related quests. Friendships are based on an empathy level between your character and each single NPC. Talking to them, paying attention to their demands and showing empathy in your responses will help to reach the required level. Besides getting rewards, the number of established friendships will also have an impact on the ending of the game.
Dungeons are designed to challenge your puzzle solving skills. Use all Sikanda’s transformations you've learned so far to overcome obstacles and trigger set-up mechanics bringing you closer to your goal.
Use Sikanda’s bottle transformation to craft powerful items out of the ingredients you find during your adventure!
Keep your eyes open for:
- Herbs, mushrooms, and fruits found in nature.
- The remains of monsters you’ve defeated.
- Rare gems and stones found in caves.
Beside producing potions and alchemy grenades, item crafting is also important to use two other Sikanda transformations effectively: The paintbrush needs color and the gun has to be loaded with bullets.
How boring would life in a fantasy world be without distractions from the daily duties of being a game character. Sikanda will feature several minigames which will have rewards ready for you when you perform well. Below are a few examples. We are going to design more minigames later together with our community!
This exciting minigame will be best experienced with Joy-Cons on the Nintendo Switch by using motion control. Alternatively, you can use the analog sticks to control each paddle respectively.
Some people of Galintrea just want to get your money! However, with a bit of luck you may win precious gifts from them.
Do you have an idea for a minigame in Sikanda? Then there is a special reward tier waiting for you to be claimed!
Galintrea is an organic environment and features a full day-night-cycle system as well as dynamic weather. Different creatures spawn based on the current time of the day and weather conditions. Some quests can only be cleared during the night. The world at night is not the same as it is during the day. Venture forth to find out what this means!
We put a lot of effort into making the gameplay smooth and polished, but we also want to provide a solid story that holds up to genre standards. Our main goal is to firmly tie story and gameplay together. The story is not told for the purpose of putting gameplay into a meaningful context, nor is the gameplay added solely for selling the story as a game. Therefore, the idea behind Sikanda was to resolve both gameplay and story around this powerful shape-shifting object.
In a day like any other, Pyto, a homeless boy, and his gang of outsider kids are heading towards a nearby forest looking for an adventure when suddenly a huge shadow covers the land. The shadow is cast by a flying fortress that has suddenly appeared in the skies. The kids and people all over the country of Thesan witness the fortress moving on top of their most sacred place, the Celestial Tower of the Wood Element, one of five towers that are the source of all life on Galintrea.
A sudden earthquake hits the land, causing several rifts tearing the soil asunder. Curious to find out what's behind all this, Pyto and his gang approach the tower, but suddenly they run into an other-worldly mech accompanied by two strangers in dark cloaks who are obviously involved in the events. With no explanation, the strangers attack the kids. Pyto's best friends - Tarak and Venda - are targeted by the mech's cannon when Pyto jumps in to shield them from the deadly blast, but he's unable to save them from getting blown into an earthquake rift.
Tarak and Venda regain consciousness and find themselves trapped in an underground tunnel. While looking for a way out, they stumble across a giant flower bud. After touching its blossom, it blooms to reveal the ancient relic it's storing. The relic, a miraculous pendant that calls itself Sikanda, magically whispers to Tarak's and Venda's heart, guiding them to the hidden exit of the tunnel. Back on the surface, they not only learn that Pyto has gone missing after the attack, but also that the island has been plunged into chaos with all five towers being captured by flying fortresses and monster hordes emerging from the rifts. Sikanda offers Tarak and Venda its help to not only stop the chaos, but also to find their friend Pyto. First, however, the two kids have to restore Sikanda's original power...
The five Celestial Towers, also called the five Towers of Elements, are the source of energy that allows Galintrea to exist with all its varieties of life. A group of strangers, only known by their name, "The Circle", used the flying fortresses on top of the towers to seal them and prevent elemental energy from spreading over the island. This would inevitably lead to the demise of the island and all life on it if not undone soon. Several attempts of the bravest warriors and most talented wizards to recapture the towers failed miserably as no one ever managed to infiltrate the fortresses, leaving the high councils of each country clueless about this desperate situation. No one understands how the enemy gained control of this highly advanced technology which is more powerful than anything the armed forces have to offer. However, no one has yet heard of Sikanda's unique power to overcome any obstacle. And it looks like Tarak and Venda are the only one Sikanda is granting its skills to. You, as the player, can choose between Tarak and Venda to accompany them on their dangerous adventure...
Sikanda is an ancient relic found with only a fraction of its former power. To restore its full potential, you'll need to unlock all of the 12 transformations it originally was capable of, one after another. This can be accomplished by finding the Shrines of the Ancestors and passing their trials. Each shrine was built to remember one of 12 legendary ancestors who were said to be the prime fathers of the civilization on the island. The trials tell the stories of their lives, their rise and their fall. All of them seem to be connected through Sikanda and by lending their power to you, Sikanda obtains new transformations that are reminiscent to their personality and some defining moments of their life.
Each transformation has a very unique set of skills and appearance. This could be monstrous weapons like a claymore or a hammer that can smash everything, a gourd that sucks in anything magical or elemental, or a paintbrush that changes the nature of things it is used upon. These powers are the key to entering the fortresses, destroying them and restoring balance to the island...
Who are the members of The Circle and what is their ultimate goal? Why do they want to destroy the island and the entire civilization on it? How could they acquire such powerful technology in the shadows of their hideout? Engage in the story and uncover the dark truth behind their scheme and the secrets behind Galintrea that were meant to be locked away forever...
Sikanda's main cast will feature a wide variety of characters. Here is a non-exhaustive list of characters playing a major part in the overall story:
A human tribe inhabits Aturan, the central land of Galintrea, and the Thesan highlands (where your adventure starts). Their kingdom is organized around a religious order simply referred to as "The Order". The Order worships a divine entity that is said to reside at the very core of the seed world. People are required to live their lives in virtue, otherwise the entity is believed to send demonic creatures called Daeva to their land.
The Sahalia are a humanoid reptilian tribe living in the desert land Enk H’dil. They rely heavily on the use of technology to survive the harsh conditions of their environment. As a tribe keen on science, Sahalia are also skilled alchemists and understand a lot about how to tame the elements and use them to their advantage.
The Lupus tribe consist of humanoid wolves who live in Frostheim, a snowy landscape in the north of the island. They are lead by shamans who have a spiritual connection to the land and can sense many events long before they actually happen. The design of their kingdom is based on Celtic and Nordic culture.
The Zouyu are a tribe of cat people living in the mountain land Yamakuni around the Celestial Tower of the Earth Element. They see themselves as fearsome warriors, yet an outsider cannot deny a certain degree of cuteness in their appearance. The Zouyu culture is based on the architectural and artistic style of countries in the Far-East.
Sikanda takes place on a tiny, inhabited moon named Chiron. Chiron is mainly covered in water, but has a huge sprouting protrusion that is surrounded by the landmasses of Galintrea. Chiron orbits a wasteland planet called Terra. Since the surface of Terra is uninhabitable, the inhabitants of Galintrea have never left their home.
The five Celestial Towers circle the sprout and feed the land on Galintrea with the power of the elements – no life would be possible without them! Each tower defines the shape of the surrounding land with its elemental power.
Your adventure starts in Thesan, the land of woods. Thesan is a remote province of Aturan and has its own culture. Located near the Tower of Wood Element, Thesan has the most fertile land on the island, eventually becoming the main supplier for wood and agricultural goods.
Yamakuni is a small, mountainous country south-east of Aturan and mainly populated by the feline Zouyu people. Steep mountain slopes protect their homeland which can only be reached through a single suspension bridge. Yamakuni is also known for several types of tea which made it popular among merchants selling exotic goods all over the island.
Aturan covers the biggest area among all countries on Galintrea. It is not only known for its power, but also for its bloody history and epic battles fought on many unification wars. There are still many historical sites and ruins located all over the country referring to past events. Nowadays, the headquarters of "The Order", the largest religious institution on the island, is located in the capital city of Aturan and wields great political power over the reign of the childlike queen.
The heat emitted from the Tower of the Fire Element turned this land into a desert. Only the Sahalia tribe with their robust skin can live there under these conditions.
With the Tower of the Metal Element being located in Frostheim, the cold aura of this element is causing an ever-lasting snowfall. Frostheim is under the rule of the Lupus tribe. Their thick fur and their iron will brave the tough conditions of the eternal winter. As a very spiritual tribe, Frostheim is home of several ritual places and the vast snowscape hides more secrets than it seems.
There are several smaller islands around the main island of Galintrea. Some of them are home to tribes that are not found anywhere on the main island. Others are said to be former hideouts of pirates. Could this mean there will be hidden treasures ...?
Sikanda will be first released for the Nintendo Switch™. Other platforms like PS4, Xbox One, and Steam will be targeted if there is enough demand or if we can reach dedicated stretch goals through this campaign.
Sikanda is developed by Dyadic Games, a small indie game studio based in Austria with support from several freelance artists all over the world, from East and West. Up until now, the project was funded from our own pockets and by selling freelance development services to other companies. This helped us to keep development progressing under a healthy financial situation.
However, this approach is also a huge limitation and slows down the overall production speed because we cannot work full-time on Sikanda. Our motivation has been growing steadily within the last 2 years and we are confident that this game will be finished at some point in the future, but this could be sooner than later if we succeed in acquiring extra funds. And we don’t want to cut down on our vision. We want Sikanda to become the game we see with our inner eyes every day when we are working on it! Your support can make this come true!
We also have ties to a publisher who might come to the rescue, but we believe that Kickstarter is the better option, not only to stay independent and stick with our own concepts, but also because we will get direct support from gamers who believe in our ideas and share the same passion for fantasy adventure games as we do. We all are gamers, let us join forces and create something amazing :)
You will find a chart on how we are going to use your Kickstarter pledges below. As you can see, art production gets the largest share of the cake. This is because we have planned many unique characters and several lovely designed environments, all done in a hand-painted art style with many details. Programming costs will be low because a lot of work has already be done - the game runs well on the Nintendo Switch with 60 FPS and transition-free streaming of world segments. Development will mainly focus on generating content and feature scripting.
Risks and challenges
We have evaluated some possible scenarios of what could go wrong and would like to openly discuss them here.
RUNNING OUT OF MONEY:
The budget of Sikanda was limited from the very beginning and we learned how to keep the project going without large investments. If we run out of money before the game is finished and are not successful in finding a publisher, we would have return to our original funding methods which would slow down development and probably reduce the quality of the final product. That being said, we will do everything possible to finish this game.
RUNNING OUT OF TIME:
We set up a tight schedule with several milestones to impose enough pressure on ourselves in order to steadily move forward. There’s a fixed list of features and content we want to have in the final game that prevents us from adding new stuff just for fun. However, if we don't meet the quality we aimed for without cutting important content, we will delay the release rather than putting an unfinished game on the market. We believe that this is in the best interests of all backers and all gamers who want to buy the finished product.
RUNNING OUT OF HEARTS ♥♡♡:
We can take nothing for granted in life, and there’s always a (tiny) risk that one of the core team members gets hit by a piano falling from the fifth floor. This and other accidents or unfortunate events cannot be predicted, but we can only hope that each of us will still be around until the end of the development cycle :)
- (35 days)