Funding Unsuccessful This project’s funding goal was not reached on .

Update #24

The New Artists

16 comments
5 likes

Hello everyone!

There have been so many comments from everyone about what they think the Old North's characters should be portrayed as. Even as we discussed it internally there were a couple of disagreements here and there, both regarding art styles and the artists themselves. Last Tuesday however, we came to a decision.

To answer which artist we would like to embody the spirit of Old North, we returned to our roots on how we originally wanted the game to be. The Old North is, in a single sentence, a hybrid between J-RPG gameplay and western style of mature storytelling. We love old school RPGs, but we can't help to think that their plots are often.. too awesome (we've just recapped FF8's storyline, and boy did we shake our heads). To over-simplify things, think of it as making a Final Fantasy, a Chrono Trigger, or a Suikoden with the plot of Inception, The Dark Knight, or Game of Thrones.

As such, we decided on this Reynard, made by the collaboration of artist #4's sketch and #3's coloring:

Reynard was never designed to be handsome in the sense of a common J-RPG hero. He is fierce, has titanic strength, and is arrogant beyond limits. That masculinity is what makes him Reynard. It is what makes him shine among other characters. We think this representation best suits that image.

We noticed that many of you liked Reynard #1. For those who do, we'd like you to know that the artist himself told us that he has other commitments to pursue and that he won't be able to work on schedule due to them.

So, from today and onwards, please welcome the two artists who will be making all the character illustrations for the Old North! :)

Today's Question

As with last update, there are so many questions regarding game designs. Sometimes it's good to ask ourselves: why are we doing it like this? Can we do it differently? Are we just copying what others do? When we understand the limits of the box that we created in our minds, we can let creativity out of it and explore many, many more possibilities.

So, today's question is:

Why do main heroes in Japanese games tend to be younger than their Western counterparts?

We always say this as a joke in our office -- if you're past 20, you can't save the world anymore. But why does it always have to be someone so young wielding that big ass sword (or key, depending on what games you play), killing thousands of higher-ranked soldiers, generals, soul-eating demons, and world-ending sorcerer-gods? We don't know for sure how old Commander Shepard or the Dragonborn is, but probably not in the teenage years anymore :P

Comments

    1. Ouroboros%202.small

      Creator Socrates on November 16

      We all want this game.

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Lukas Daniel Klausner on November 16

      Meh, I strongly preferred Reynard #2. :/

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Shaun J on November 16

      I would not say games are viewed as childish as a whole, but rather the games about "saving the world" trend towards the younger generation as they have more clear-cut good/evil story trends. Games for adults would move closer to moral ambiguity and tackle more mature themes such as large-scale conflict, sexuality, religion, vices and consequences of one's actions. To be fair, they eventually cross with each other in one area or another. Kids need to learn about how the world is not always clear with morality and adults need those "innocent" influences to remind them that not all in the world is gruesome and trying to kill them.

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Neo on November 14

      Reynard #2 and Reynard #3 are the best for me! But Reynard #2 is better. :)

    5. Waffle100.small

      Creator Will Kilgore on November 14

      I thought I'd like collab!Reynard, but this is even better than I was expecting! Awesome!

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Dar Rivkin on November 14

      While the target audience is definitely factor, I think it has alot to do with the Japaense Culture views on youth. There's a very strong idealizations of young people, kids and teens who have yet to compromise their values and ideas to suit the crowd. If you walk down a street in Japan, most adults would quietly isolate themselves, with phones or newspapers and such. But young people hang around in groups, being noisy and standing out. So it makes it more believable for a young, naive hero to save the world, while a 'grown up' would be too sensible to do that (they'll probably call the police or something).

      The naivety of a young hero also makes for great tension when they have to deal with heavy, difficult issues they might not be emotionally equipped for. So they make stupid decisions, that make for a better story than smart ones, I guess.

    7. Ekuator_logo_01.small

      Creator Ekuator Games on November 14

      Hmm, that might be a good argument about Japanese teens growing up faster. Every now and then there'd be a new game, manga, or anime about highschool-aged kids being saviors of the world, so there must be something about them. Do games in Japan viewed as childish? As in, if you're working and have a family to take care of, you shouldn't play games as a hobby?

      On another note, these past few years Japanese games have also started to tackle 25+ age groups. Metal Gear Solid 3 remains one of our producer's personal favorite. :)

    8. Adol_gentleman_(small).small

      Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on November 14

      Love the new Reynard! I'll admit, I am a wee disappointed that we don't get Reynard #1, but this guy looks great too!

      As for the question, yeah, I think Shaun is most likely correct about how Japanese teens tend to have to grow up faster than in the western world. And while I can think of a few playable JRPG characters above 20, the vast majority of those are in a supporting role rather than a main one (the only real exceptions being much of the FFVI cast, as that game's cast is more an ensemble than having one or two "main" characters, and Adol Christin from the Ys series, and even he is a teenager in most of the games).

    9. Missing_small

      Creator Shaun J on November 14

      If memory serves me correctly, the age of consent in Japan is 13. Yes, as soon as that, you can have babies. Couple this with the pressures of finding a work specialty while in High School and planning your life out in this phase, the world changes for the average Japanese kid around this time. You are forced to grow up sooner, it seems, and this could correspond well with world-changing journeys at this age. Also take into account that when you hit the twenties, you are more tied to your job than your own family (especially if you are the typical salary person). Since you are changing the world and seeing it for how it really is, there may be less "I can do anything!" idealism and more Solid Snake-type realism. When this person has kids, then they can live through the feelings again when they get to play. Thus, the circle of life continues.

      Note, I am not Japanese, so I could be COMPLETELY off the mark here too...

    10. Ouroboros%202.small

      Creator Socrates on November 14

      I think I read something in a bioware q&a once that Commander Shepherd is intended to be about 30, maybe late 20's.

    11. Ekuator_logo_01.small

      Creator Ekuator Games on November 14

      @Helena: Yep! We'll put the high-res version of him with the rest of the cast for you to see, though we'd have to wait for them to get done first :)

    12. Ekuator_logo_01.small

      Creator Ekuator Games on November 14

      Since currently the average gamer's age is around 30, having youngsters as the main target audience might be something worth rethinking, though. When it was the 90s, sure, only kids play video games on their SNES. But in the era of PC and Next-Gen, every now and then we can see those of the working age watch animes and play games. Don't you think?

    13. Cton.small

      Creator Helena - Ordo Draconum on November 14

      Have to agree that it's mainly about the age of the target audience.

      And I really like the new Reynard - he's much more attractive to me than your typical 'bishonen' JRPG protagonist. ;-) Any chance we could see a high-res version of that picture?

    14. Avatar200200.small

      Creator Atarun on November 14

      It's not just video games. Anime and manga also tend to feature very young characters. Even hentai often features characters who look young enough to go to middle school... or primary school even.
      So sure, audience plays a part... but, in general, Japanese visual media tends to peruse kids and teenagers, even when they are intended for a mature audience.

    15. D6a17ce748f906f7963f50051879d9ebaa970a83_full.small

      Creator Inquisitioner on November 14

      I'd say... Probs to suit their audiance more. I doubt adults in commander shepards age in the target group. But thats a boring answer.

      Maybe, due to it being more fantasy since the hero is not physically overkill. Gives the immersion something teenagers can relate to and perhaps aspire.

    16. Art-anime-urabe-mikoto-nazo-no-kanojo-x-344459.medium.small

      Creator Dawn_ on November 14

      Response to your question : Because most players are kids or youngsters. It is then easier to put someone their age are the main protagonist so they could represent themselves in it.

      ME was made for mature audience 18-45. Most games like Kingdom Heart are made for an audience 15-25. You can play it if you're older sure, but you're not the intended public.

643
Backers
$24,021
pledged of $40,000 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $5 or more
    You selected

    50 backers All gone!

    THE IMPETUOUS ============================== With only $5, you can download Celestian Tales: Old North. Only available for 50 first high-spirited knights!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    262 backers

    THE GALLANT ============================== Digital download of Old North + High-res exclusive wallpapers. Take arms and join the fight for The Old North!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    41 backers

    THE KEEN ============================== GALLANT tier rewards + digital download of the Official Soundtrack. Enter the world of Old North even outside the game.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    141 backers

    THE VIRTUOUS ============================== KEEN tier rewards + digital PDF download of the graphic novel + unlock alternate costumes and artworks for each of the six playable characters. Your name will be put into the credits with special thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    50 backers All gone!

    THE SWIFT ============================== VIRTUOUS tier rewards + digital PDF download of the Art Book, available only for 50 quick grabbers.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    38 backers

    THE IDEALIST ============================== VIRTUOUS tier rewards + digital PDF download of the Art Book + access to the Beta release + behind-the-scenes download. Your name will be put on the credits as our glorious supporter. Fully enjoy Old North in all its artistic glory!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    THE COMRADE ============================== Two download codes for the Game + Official Soundtrack + Graphic Novel + Art Book + alternate costumes & arts. Get your significant other, best friend, or pet to experience the Old North!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    THE ELITE ============================== BOXED EDITION: Disc copies of Celestian Tales: Old North + its official soundtrack + printed full color graphic novel, all encased in an exclusive box available only in Kickstarter. Includes all IDEALIST tier rewards. ============================== Please add $25 shipping outside South East Asia.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $140 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    THE SCHOLAR ============================== ELITE tier rewards + high-quality hard cover full color art book + exclusive Alpha access. Experience the Old North with all its artistic glory, right in your own hands. ============================== Please add $25 shipping outside South East Asia.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    19 backers Limited (31 left of 50)

    THE HONORABLE ============================== COLLECTOR'S EDITION: Disc copies of Celestian Tales: Old North + its official soundtrack + printed full color graphic novel + hard cover full color art book, encased in an extravagant signed, numbered, and personalized limited box. Includes digital downloads of all physical rewards + Beta and Alpha access + alternate costumes & arts + behind-the-scenes download. Your name will be eternally engraved on the Cavern of Sylphs as one of the first to found the Old North. As someone forever honored by our team, you'll get every single game we'll ever release and receive behind-the-scenes, updates, and sneak peeks a day before anyone else. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $275 or more
    You selected

    6 backers Limited (19 left of 25)

    THE SAGE ============================== HONORABLE tier rewards + ORIGINAL SKETCH signed and personalized by the dev team + ENGRAVE custom 140 characters on the Cavern of Sylphs along with your name (subject to dev team's approval). They will reverberate in the lands as words uttered by those first to found the Old North. As proof of your deeds in shaping the Old North with us, you'll receive an exclusive sterling silver Arbiter's Brooch. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $375 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (4 left of 6)

    THE MASTER ARMORER ============================== SAGE tier rewards + DESIGN AN ARMOR, the strongest and rarest usable by one character (subject to dev team's approval) + a signed SKETCH of the armor (replaces SAGE's sketch reward). As proof of your hand in shaping this world, receive a sterling silver Arbiter's Brooch and an Arbiter's Cloak to shield you from Old North's deadly winters. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $375 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    THE MASTER ARMSMAN ============================== SAGE tier rewards + DESIGN A WEAPON, the strongest and rarest usable by one character (subject to dev team's approval) + a signed SKETCH of the weapon (replaces SAGE's sketch reward). As proof of your hand in shaping this world, receive a sterling silver Arbiter's Brooch and an Arbiter's Cloak to shield you from Old North's deadly winters. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (4 left of 6)

    THE LEGENDARY ============================== SAGE tier rewards + DESIGN AN ITEM SET consisting of a weapon and an armor usable by one character which, when worn together, give great boons (subject to dev team's approval) + a signed SKETCH of the character wearing the item set (replaces SAGE's sketch reward). As proof of your hand in shaping this world, receive a sterling silver Arbiter's Brooch and an Arbiter's Cloak to shield you from Old North's deadly winters. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $700 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    THE LIFEBRINGER ============================== SAGE tier rewards + DESIGN YOUR CHARACTER AS NPC (subject to dev team's approval) + a signed CONCEPT SKETCH of him/her (replaces SAGE's sketch reward) + reach out to the team members via Skype. As proof of your hand in shaping this world, receive a sterling silver Arbiter's Brooch and an Arbiter's Cloak to shield you from Old North's deadly winters. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    2 backers All gone!

    MASTER OF THE HOUSE ============================== LIFEBRINGER tier rewards + YOUR CHARACTER'S COLORED ILLUSTRATION + DESIGN A NOBLE HOUSE name, sigil, and lores (subject to dev team's approval) + reach out to the team members via Skype. You can either have the NPC you designed be a noble of this House (Knight or Baron rank) or have them as two separate rewards. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    THE ANCIENT ============================== SAGE tier rewards encased in the #01 Collector's Edition Box + DESIGN AN ULTIMATE ENEMY (subject to dev team's approval) + a COLORED ILLUSTRATION of it + reach out to the team members via Skype. Do you remember Ultima and Omega Weapon, Ozma, or Spekkio? An absolute adversary, even harder to conquer than the final encounter? That enemy every single hardcore gamer wants to beat so badly we remember its name for the rest of our lives? With this tier, you can design it with us. There can be no two of this legendary being, only yours. As proof of your hand in shaping this world, receive a sterling silver Arbiter's Brooch and an Arbiter's Cloak to shield you from Old North's deadly winters. ============================== Includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $2,500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    THE GODLY ============================== What? We don't even.. well, if you love us *that* much, who are we to argue? We can't really show how enormous our gratitude is for a pledge like this, so we'll give the best of everything: SAGE TIER REWARDS encased in the #00 Collector's Edition Box (which we wanted to keep for ourselves). In addition to a concept sketch, we'll make a FULL COLORED ARTWORK (with background) for you. Your Arbiter's Brooch and Cloak will be specially made with exclusive materials, adorned with meticulously detailed ornaments. In the game, your avatar will be a legendary being (the default is a hero, but we're on if you want it to be a less-humanoid being) and we'll craft an entire side quest about him/her. He/she might also feature on the Graphic Novel! Your name will appear before anyone else as EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. We don't know what else to give, so please take UNLIMITED hugs and thanks from all our team members (you can take them while you bother us on Skype). ============================== Already includes shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (31 days)