About this project
Reward Reference Sheet
"Bring us your tired, your weird, your huddled, writhing masses yearning for solace! The architects of the old world built this tower to hold the wicked, the abandoned, and the depraved. It is home now to all who seek its shelter.
The unslain are welcomed." -Old Tower Epigraph
"In our explorations of the wastes we have come across a tower. It stretches toward the heavens with a vengeance. It pierces the clouds, my lord. It looks as though it has been destroyed and rebuilt countless times. The portcullis gate shows signs of weakness."-letter from the 31st expedition
Doko Roko is a 2D rogue-like, vertical action game with an emphasis on lightning-fast combat and rich atmosphere. I have long since dreamt of a game that treats its fiction with as much nuance as it treats its core mechanics. But what if that fiction were not spread so thin amongst a sprawling expanse? What if this world were a contained and thriving ecosystem inside of a tower?
My goal with Doko Roko is to experiment with how a world might look if it built on top of itself rather than outward in all directions, like how you might layer glazes onto an oil painting to model subtle variations in light and color.
- Collect strange and ancient magicks to do battle with the more hostile denizens of The Tower. Wield massive swords forged from meteorites and cursed earth to slay the many dreaming demons who climb the tower alongside you. A frenetic and responsive combat system that is easy to pick up, but difficult to master.
- Explore the uniquely dense world of The Tower- A world that is parts procedurally generated and meticulously hand-crafted. Massive stone obelisks, libraries of grimoires and tomes written in forgotten languages, cisterns filled with rain water, the makeshift homes of the Unslain who have taken up residency thousands of feet in the sky. This is a place of rich history that is slowly evolving, an organism disguised as architecture.
- Speak and trade with the many strange folk who inhabit this artificial ecosystem- Not all desire your blood, Unslain, some merely wish to tell you of their tales, their triumphs, and their woes. If communication is to impart information unto another, perhaps there is something to be learned...
- SwordPlay- Be they forged from cursed earth, lifted from astral planes, or imported from distant lands, swords shall serve to protect you from the onslaught of foes you will encounter during your ascent. Master these instruments of pain and your fragile assemblage of limbs may yet survive long enough to see what secrets lie beyond the Cirrostratus cloud layer.
Dodging, parrying, striking, and reflecting incoming projectiles are all crucial techniques that you'll need to master in order to stand a chance against the foes you'll do battle with.
- Faeries- "Foul creatures that swim through star lyyte. They gather in swarms around the barrows.They are a plague, Unslain. Do not be fooled."
- Strange Magicks- Objects imbued with archaic powers. Grimoires and manuscripts that conjure dazzling lyyte from thinnest air. Strange magicks seek out physical vessels that may be suitable to contain them. These artifacts have limited usage but are devastating when wielded skillfully.
- Transformations- The Unslain is weak to all a manner of cosmic infestation. Your body may succumb to the will of a being of a higher order. You may attract a supernatural blight. Transformations may affect maneuverability, physical appearance, and combat effectiveness.
- Atmosphere-I want windmills that change pace with the wind, grass that gets trampled under your feet, dust clouds that kick up during skirmishes. I want the world you're playing in to feel inhabited by other tower denizens going about their strange lives. I want you to feel as though you have presence in this world I have arranged.
- Story- If Dark Souls has taught me anything, it's that games do not have to beat you over the head with their fiction to be interesting. A well-crafted world is far more enticing to me than having to sit through a long-winded monologue. My hope is that you'll absorb the story at your own pace through brain-osmosis rather than me having to inject it with huge clumsy hands.
- Legacy System- Your efforts will have a cumulative effect upon the world.
I have been working alone now on Doko Roko for the better part of a year! It is without a doubt the longest project I've worked on thus far, as well as the most satisfying. I have been doing all the programming, animation and sound effects myself up until this point and have learned a ton in doing so. Much of the framework for Doko Roko is already complete. Systems are behaving as desired and the outline is there, but it's time now that I begin to design the game in earnest and put all these concepts and systems to good use!
In order to make this world as rich and varied as I envision, a lot of asset generation is required. This means a big chunk of time needs to be spent hand-animating hundreds of frames of animation as well as constructing tile sets for each of the distinct areas of the tower. I will move these pixels into the right coordinates and I will make them the right colors, they will light up on your monitor and you will feel things! That's how it goes!
I also may need to account for the tweaking and re-tweaking of different systems I have designed, I have estimated that I will have at least 2 more years of serious work ahead of me. The potential release date in that case is then set somewhere in late 2017. There will be a period of about 2 months prior to the release date where I'll be beta-testing in order to catch any bugs that have slipped through my nimble fingers and take feedback from the community in order to make this game the best it can possibly be! I will be sure to update periodically to assure you I have a vague idea of what I'm doing and that everything is on track!
I love working on this game! I'd like to continue working on this game full time for another two years and have a bunch of talented people help me fully realize this weird vision I have. I can survive on instant ramen, it's salty as heck, but I'll do it. I've done it!
The truth is creative people need to get paid cash dollars for the extraordinary work they do. I'd like to contract animators, sound designers and anthropologists to help me, but I need money, and the little I have saved up from selling homeopathic medicine to old people at a whole foods isn't going to cut it. (PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR SELLING YOU WATER IN A LITTLE GLASS JAR. CAPITALISM MAKES ME DO AWFUL THINGS).
I'll also need to establish Okobu as its own business in order to begin distributing on platforms. a chunk of the money will go to licensing fees, rent and bills that need paying!
I am also excited to get feedback from a community of players that will no doubt have influence on the outcome of the game. A game is nothing if there is no one to play it!
Access to the Game
The game is planned to be released on the PC, Mac and Linux platforms! If we surpass the initial goal then I will strongly consider a release on some select consoles, but that's all I have planned for now!
Eric Mack (Okobu) okobugames.com @EricSmack
More recently I am an art college drop out! I studied at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for one year before realizing I was not getting the art education I wanted. I decided I would like to teach myself digital painting with the aid of Noah Bradley's 12 week Art Camp, a series of videos intent on helping you improve your art. My skills improved immensely from this workshop and I honestly cannot thank that guy enough for what he offered.
Shortly after this I began learning to code in Java. I had wanted to be a concept artist for so long, but I ended up realizing that is not really at all what I wanted to be. I want to make video games! I want to craft experiences for people and I want to be involved in every step of the process!
I've been playing video games since before I was in pre-school (that's pre-pre-school!). I've only now accumulated the knowledge necessary to make them myself and it's honestly still a crazy weird magical experience to see them in motion.
I'd also like to give full disclosure and say apart from some prototypes, this will be the first actual video game I have developed. I am determined to see this project through to the end and despite my newness to development, I can assure you that I am in no way new to video games. My passion for this project is weird and complex. It has sunk its tendrils deep into my vitals!
and shouts out to boxescloser for the superb trailer music! These guys rule!
Risks and challenges
Making a video game is tough. Like actually super tough! Stuff that you think will take a day ends up taking a week, stuff you thought'd take a week might take a month. As of right now, I'm taking this on all by myself with the support of my friends and Twitter chums. I have gotten better at predicting how long certain tasks will take me, but I have no doubt that there will be some setbacks and some downright frustrating moments. I have tried to account for these setbacks as much as possible, but game development does not always go according to plan as I've learned.
I hope you'll be patient with me on this journey and know that I want this to be a reality as much as anyone. More than anyone probably! I have worked tirelessly over the past year surmounting every obstacle I've come across and with the support of the community and my friends I feel entirely capable of surmounting many more!
Stay beautiful and immortal!
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