Celestian Tales: Old North
Celestian Tales: Old North
Beautiful narrative-driven RPG. A story of love, faith, and justice. Six unique playable characters. Three decades of consequences.
Beautiful narrative-driven RPG. A story of love, faith, and justice. Six unique playable characters. Three decades of consequences. Read more
About this project
"Are you tired of the mute hero going from rages to riches, killing gods, or other typical fantasy tropes? Do you tire of bland story and desire for more out of your role playing plots? Do you like characters that develop over an entire lifetime? You answered “yes” to all of these questions, I’m going to go ahead and recommend Celestian Tales: Old North to you."
".. the three decades through which the story takes place and the characters journey intrigue me. Change! Real life issues! Choice!"
Have you ever felt nostalgic about classic RPGs you played in your youth? Are you an old school gamer like us who long to taste once again how a game with simple graphics could move our hearts? To play a game which memories you'll cherish deeply for a long time? Perhaps you've never experienced it yet have heard about legends of the past?
We grew up with those kinds of games and we wish to recapture that magical spark, that rich and vivid imagination, in the form of an RPG. Combining exceptional artworks, music, and compelling storyline, Old North packs all of them in traditional design. Our vision is to make a game that is not only fun to play, but also conveys a message straight to you. A deeper meaning. A personality, if you may.
The Old North is not a merciful land. The light of sun is shy and life thrives by the pity of rains and thunderstorms. Winters are cold and sharp as steel, not even the thickest of coats can shield you from its pierce. It is a land where laws and sole faith held high, while other beliefs and practitioners heretical. The Inquisition sniffs out the slightest scents of the unfaithful and culls every man, woman, child, and their known relatives involved. It is a land where the poor and penniless scratch the grounds to pay their dues to the lords, else they suffer fate worse than mere hunger and cold.
Sent away from their respective houses to serve a liege lord, six young souls are to learn how to keep their footing in the shoes of knighthood. As they walk the rocky path, they realize that the world is not as bright as they believed it to be. Join their journey and discover their struggles in upholding ideals, their naivety confronted by the harsh truth of reality, and their dark secrets kept from each other.
Old North is not a simple fantasy cliché of a 'chosen one' or 'saving the world'. There's neither time-stopping nor god-killing involved. Magic has very little influence, and the strength of sly words outmatch even the strongest incantations. It is a story of mundane struggles, of hardships and grief as well as happiness and joy. It is a journey of mere mortals which will reach out to your deepest emotions. There is neither good nor evil, no blacks and whites, in a world of men and their humanly traits.
In this story spanning three decades, no deeds you do come without consequences. Take responsibility for your actions as the world and the characters grow from their past. Will you ever regret the decisions you've made? Will you run from the future, or will you stand and face it?
Stemming from our love of great stories and narrative-driven games, Celestian Tales is a direct fruition of seven years of brewing ideas, concocting intrigues, and sculpting a living, breathing world through D&D 3.5e, D&D 4e, Pathfinder, Iron Kingdoms RPG, and many other tabletop RPGs. The story of Old North is derived from one of our dedicated campaigns which ran weekly sessions for a year long. Have you ever created an original character and wished he/she could be alive in some form? This is it -- this is that hope made reality.
Celestian Tales: Old North is inspired by JRPG titles of the 90s, the era of SNES and PlayStation. We strive to recreate the retro feel but add our own modern touches on top of it. For example, our native resolution is 800 x 600 instead of 640 x 480, we use high-resolution hand-drawn character illustrations for dialogues instead of pixel art, and user interfaces are made with seamless animation.
Some of the game's features are:
- Six playable characters with differing play experiences. Each character has deep personality, combat style, equipments, private stories, cut scenes, special arts, and decisions to be made in the game.
- Multiple conclusions for each character, totalling more than a dozen possible variations, affected by your own choices throughout the game.
- Over 20 hours of gameplay time per character.
- Well-written fantasy setting and lores raising real-world issues which will connect deeper with your own life stories.
- Compelling storyline spanning three decades, following the characters' journey of life while they grow and mature from their experiences.
- Dynamic encounters which turns combat encounters into a form of entertainment itself. Hide from enemies, learn the nature of their movements, avoid them or just bash them all -- it depends on how you want to play the game.
- Beautiful hand-drawn backgrounds and environment to immerse you into the world. Note: We're now undergoing massive changes to the pixel arts. The tiles will be updated soon to match the combat mockup you can see above.
- Tactically revamped classic combat with turn-based resource-management system. Combat puts emphasis on strategy and team customization, enough to keep you up but not too much that it turns boring and distracts the focus on narrative.
- Rewarding explorations, optional side quests and light mini-games make their return to restore the nostalgic feelings of an old school RPG.
- Wonderful music to enhance your play experience and mood in the game world.
- Various accompaniments to further immerse you in the world's lores, in the form of a graphic novel and an artbook. Celestian Tales encompasses a vast original setting, and stories from all over the continents are abound!
Built using Unity, Celestian Tales: Old North will be able to run on PC, Mac, and Linux. Although keyboard is the default input method , we recommend playing with a joystick for the ultimate classic feel (no guys, pushing that button harder does not make your attack stronger). We're building the game with platform flexibility in mind and if there's enough support, having Old North built into console or mobile is not beyond our scope.
Whatever the game's form, we'll ensure that it is available DRM-Free. We miss the old times when games could be fully enjoyed as soon as it is bought -- and that's exactly what Old North is. No DRM, no online requirements, nothing. When the game is yours, it's yours.
A test bed is basically a 'room' for us to test features which will be used in-game. You can try it yourself over here. The controls are as follows:
- Movement: WASD or Directional Buttons (Keyboard) / Left Analog (Xbox)
- Choice: WASD or Directional Buttons (Keyboard) / D-Pad (Xbox)
- Action: Z (Keyboard) / Button A (Xbox)
- Run: X (keyboard) / Button B (Xbox)
The test bed will be constantly updated, and we'll note new versions in the updates. Up to this version, the features showcased are:
- 3D Sound: If you get closer to an object, the audio volume becomes stronger. Used in ambiences such as waterfalls, city fountains, and enemies (yes, you'll be able to detect some enemies through sound).
- Patrolling NPC: Moving around guarding a place or going around a tree with fluid motion, active NPCs will make the world livelier.
- Following NPC: Used in instances where an NPC follows you. Duh.
- Pushable Object: You can push the following NPC in case it blocks your way -- you don't want to get stuck in a crook, don't you?
The prototype combat showcases our basic combat encounters. Though limited in scope, you can take a glimpse at how it works yourself here.
A couple of notes about the web player:
- Items and Run do not work.
- If you can't do anything at all, it could be because the web player isn't in focus. To fix this, click on the game window first (as in, the 800x600 combat itself)
- You can't die. You're not going to lose against two bandits, are you?
We are a team of six, consisting of professionals in game development and creative artistic souls, all passionate long-time gamers. We share a common ideal: to create the kind of games we ourselves would love to enjoy. Some of us have been pushing it for the last few years in our respective places, but there's always the matter of funding and risks that kept creativity at bay. Throwing those restrictions away, we now wish to make it happen ourselves.
One of our weekly meetings -- commonly on Tuesdays with buy one get one pizzas.
Other than the main development team, Agate Simfonia will craft quality audio to enhance your experience. Here are samples of their work for Old North:
Furthermore, Azisa Noor will collaborate with us in the creation of an exclusive graphic novel, perfect as company in your exploration of the Old North. Experience the setting at its fullest with beautiful illustrations and powerful storytelling in this work.
Early graphic novel work, made in collaboration between our artist and Azisa.
Many of us jumped into game industry with the dream of making a game like this, and we've been pushing for years for it. However, casual mobiles, F2Ps / IAP-centric games, and ad games kept the money train going, and ideas for projects like this were shelved. We're done waiting and hoping for a chance. We decided to make our own chances: by forming an independent team and pouring full-time energy into Old North.
Our own funds have kept us running so far, but it's just a matter of time until they're depleted. Simply put, this game can't be completed without your support. With your contributions, we'll be able to present you an extraordinary experience through Old North. Your generosity will go towards:
- $ 22,000 - $275 / person / month x 6 persons x 13 months: Our team members will have to eat, pay bills, and afford important coffee without having another job gnawing their time. Even in our country, this amount is still considered very low. One person can manage it himself and asked not to be paid wages.
- $ 2,500 - Audio Outsourcing: We'll have to pay our sound designer and his team of musicians for their wonderful works.
- $ 4,000 - Legal Costs: Including, but not limited to, taxes, administration fees, and other things that enable the game to be legally sold.
- $ 3,200 - Kickstarter and Amazon: 8% of the funds will be taken straight by them for whatever schemes they brew.
- $ 6,500 - Physical Rewards and Shipping Costs: Discs, boxes, printing, tailoring, etc. Everything between having the game and additionals done in their physical form and getting it into your hands. Due to our geographic location, we had to calculate high shipping costs into our target.
- $ 1,900 - Incidental Funds: Many times around in many cases, not all things can go as smooth as they're planned to be at first. We allocated an extra 5% of these expenses for that safety net.
To clarify, here are some specifications on the rewards:
- Old North: You are eligible to download one copy of Celestian Tales: Old North. Boxed and Collector's Edition come in the form of a single DVD.
- Soundtrack: Every single music created for Old North compiled into one album. Boxed and Collector's Edition come in the form of an Audio CD.
- Graphic Novel: A 32-page fully coloured graphic novel telling an insightful side story untold in the Old North game.
- Art Book: A 96-page fully coloured A4-sized hard cover consisting of concept arts, illustrations, in-game sprites, and a whole bunch of Old North's immersive lores from history, nobility, to climate.
- Boxed Edition: A large durable box made to accommodate two discs, a graphic novel, and an art book. Expect nothing like cheap plastic disc cases you commonly find in game stores or steel boxes which scratch your discs instead of protecting them.
- Collector's Edition Box: A large extravagantly designed box made from quality materials, crafted to house the game and soundtrack discs, the graphic novel, art book, a concept sketch, the Arbiter's Brooch and Arbiter's Cloak all in one elite package.
- Cavern of Sylphs: The only passage into the Old North from the mainlands, this grand cavern is where ships sail adrift the Grand Flux. Its granite walls record the names of honorable brave men and women first to unveil the perilous lands.
- Arbiter's Brooch: Hand-crafted sterling silver brooch made in the shape of the Arbiters' symbol. Simple yet powerfully stylish, it is an item of both honor and fashion for men and women alike.
- Arbiter's Cloak: Exclusive cloak embroidered in the fashion of the Arbiters; perfect for any true adventurer. In the absence of adventuring quests, it serves as a wall decoration or a blanket, keeping you warm and comfortable in cold nights.
- Rare Armor / Weapon / Item Set: The ultimate equipments to be acquired by a single character, their unparalleled powers cater to the many styles of different players. As of current design, they are the only non-storyline equipments capable of changing character sprites when equipped.
All physical rewards are only available in Kickstarter, so don't hesitate to get them at the earliest convenience!
At the end of this page, allow us to express our gratitude for your support. Whether you've pledged a lot, a little, shared with your friends, talked about this to someone, or just took the time to read, you have become a part of Old North.
Risks and challenges
We've learned from our experiences that a game development project is very hard to precisely predict. Currently we're still at an early stage of the game. Once we dedicate our resources towards development, things will accelerate. August 2014 is a modest estimate, yet still the release could still be further delayed for various reasons.
Whatever happens, we are committed to continuously update everyone with development news and keep you in the loop at all times. You have placed precious trust in our hands, and we would never want to betray that. At the end of it all, we will deliver you one hell of a game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We're using Unity to enable the game perform a lot of tasks and features which a common RPG game engine cannot do. Some of them include free movement, non-tiled environment, and a lot more freedom in building the world. Also, Unity allows us to easily port to Mac, Linux, and perhaps mobile and console platforms in the future.
We used to play classic 90s JRPG on a console, and we'd really want to resurrect that feeling again. We have contacted Sony and Nintendo asking chances to go into respective consoles, but unfortunately due to regional authorization reasons they cannot make us available there as of now.
The Unity engine is great at being easy to port to different platforms, and we're open about porting into mobile, if there are enough requests for it. Truthfully, we think playing Celestian Tales: Old North on the mobile isn't the proper way to enjoy it, but hey, things have changed since 20 years ago.
If it's available on different platforms, will anyone need to back for a different tier if they want non-PC/Mac/Linux version?
Nope. As a backer, you'll be eligible for all versions at no additional cost. Yes, even the $5 ones.
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