Evil is about to get boned
Evil is about to get boned
"Rest in Peace?!" You wish! "Vertebreaker" is a brand-new and authentic pixel-based side-scroller from Headcannon, the studio that helped bring "Sonic Mania" to the masses. Starring a stubby-yet-seemingly-unstoppable skeleton who's thrashing their way to victory, it's gothic, cartoonish, and unabashedly retro!
Take control of our bony hero in a crusade to crush the undead and look cool while doing it! In "Vertebreaker", traversal is key as you slash, bash, and grapple your way through the most wicked 2D adventure yet! "What is 'traversal'"? It's slinging, swinging, and launching from floors, walls, and ceilings to propel yourself forward or even upward with serious speed!
Save the day with our pearly-boned mascot, their mysterious golden half-skull, and their sick grappling hook made from the spine of a demon! "What demon"? It doesn't matter ... does it ... ?
"Vertebreaker" uses Headcannon's out-of-this-world proprietary engine "Methyl", built from the ground-up to specialize in high-performance, breathtaking classic-style 2D visuals and gameplay! Its code has roots that extend as far back as the 90s, bringing the same level of care and optimization that were necessary to create amazing games at least three decades ago into present-day!
Headcannon founder and lead programmer for both "Methyl" and "Vertebreaker", Simon "Stealth" Thomley grew, up in the 80s and 90s. Deeply inspired by video games of those eras, he took his craft from long-time hobby to direct cooperation with one of his favorite developers, SEGA, in the creation of not one, or even two, but three classic Sonic releases!
Of course! Each member of the team loves classic gaming in their own way:
- Andy Collins has a dual-dedication to video games in his "Son of a Glitch" and other series on popular YouTube channel "A+Start" and his interest in pixel graphics. To-date his pixel art has been a hobby, but his work is already well-beyond reproach! He is "Vertebreaker"'s Lead Artist.
- Matthew Weekes has a history in commercial indie games, with specialization in environmental pixel art. His previous works include Retro goodness Kynseed, the more "16-bit"-like Freedom Planet, and the indie game that runs on an actual Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Tanglewood! He is a Level Artist and Lead Level Designer for "Vertebreaker".
- Michael Staple is a very talented musician who has already hit the commercial indie scene with his contributions to Spark the Electric Jester! He has a deep love for the smooth sounds of the YM2612 FM chip that was included in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. As "Vertebreaker"'s Sound Engineer, he plans to rock the house with custom FM sound effects and instruments for his marvelous compositions!
- Rick Danto is another "old timer" with some real talent for sprite pixel animations and some neat ideas! He has provided much of the basis for "Vertebreaker"'s story and main characters as well as a (skele)ton of main player animation and enemy sprites, but has since become unable to continue with the project. We wish him well.
- "FUNKVESSEL", a professional graphic designer, illustrator and animator who's obsessed with Treasure and Konami! Was considered part of a duo with Rick, and has provided some excellent concepts for "Vertebreaker". He continues to inspire our creations with his beautiful concept art.
- Noah "Mr. Poe" Hall hadn't even been born until the 90s was right at its end, but looks back on the era's technology with the same fondness and fascination as someone who had lived through it; his hobbies actually include programming for the Sega Saturn! He is a programmer for both "Methyl" and "Vertebreaker".
- Derrek “TheStoneBanana” Harbold, our youngest member, has also developed a love for classic gaming from the 90s, studying their inner workings as a hobby! He is a programmer for both "Methyl" and "Vertebreaker".
- Elizabeth "SPD!" Ramirez is yet another 80s/90s kid and supports the project as "Vertebreaker"'s Buisness Manager, while also providing awesome miscellaneous sprite and key art!
Man, didn't we cover that already? "Vertebreaker" focuses on traversal, meaning "the act of travelling," which means you are gonna be gone once you master its smooth grappling mechanics! Our skeleton buddy isn't the fastest on his own — look, you try getting around without any muscles — but once you get the hang (heh..) of his awesome spinal grapple, you'll be flying through its spacious stages like it's nobody's business!
You've gotta have a place to play, right? "Vertebreaker" is all about that! Each stage is set to be huge and feature multiple paths, from the down-low routes for beginners to the high-flying tracks for skellys with skills! Just when you think you've mastered the game, you'll find out there's a whole 'nother way to play, and that it's rougher, tougher, and has its own rewards!
You heard the part about pixel-based graphics, right? They're the real deal! "Methyl" uses a "software renderer", meaning that unlike games with a 2D look that are actually running through 3D hardware, every part of "Vertebreaker" has direct control of every pixel on the screen at all times! All of the amazing graphics drawn in a wonderful "16-bit" style can do any of the crazy things that were only possible with the special graphic hardware in your favorite 90s consoles, and more!
If you've been missing that cool FM sound from the late 80s and 90s, "Vertebreaker" has you covered! There were some people who could really put the YM2612 to excellent use, and our main man on sound could just as well be one of them in disguise! We mentioned it earlier, but the sound effects and instruments for the music are being totally custom-created to achieve just the right sound! Have a listen to two of our songs right here:
First, let's talk features. For starters, here's what's on offer right up-front if we can meet our basic funding goal:
- At least six massive levels with multiple routes!
- Both a boss and miniboss for each level!
- Penultimate and final bosses!
- Hidden extras that can change up gameplay and the ending!
- Time Attack Mode!
- Boss Rush Mode!
- Sound Test Mode!
- Versions for Windows, Linux, and OSX!
Looking for more? Well, how about some stretch goals?
Well, it's all in the rewards list (and you'll need to see that for full details), but here's a quick rundown:
All right, all right, we get it. Those funding goals look intimidating, and you think that your contribution is a drop in the bucket compared what we need. That's fair, so let's get real...
We know that you may have come to expect lower funding goals, even when the campaign ends up earning many times what was asked for. For you, we have shaved every cent possible from our minimum goal, and can only otherwise offer an explanation.
We're just now starting a brand-new game with a brand-new IP from scratch; what you see in the demo is everything that the game currently is, which comparatively isn't much. We have no capital with which to fund any further development, and we'd rather bring this game directly to you rather than subject ourselves and our game to the complications and risks of dealing with a publisher. We want to focus heavily on the development of this game so that it can be completed in a reasonable span of time, with some of us working on it full-time.
We want to bring this game to you as promised, which is why we can't risk setting the goal any lower. The price reflects cost-of-living for the current 8 team members for the duration of development, plus Kickstarter and Stripe fees, as well as income tax.
Aside from Simon's history, we present to you, free of charge, a very early demo of the game (which contains everything we've created up to this point) to try for yourself. If you like it, your pledge to pre-purchase the game will help us bring it to completion! Any additional funding that any individual person provides to us is entirely optional.
Given that, this is an all-or-nothing campaign, so if the goal isn't met, your pledge is returned and nothing is lost!
Every pledge adds up, so tell your friends, and have them tell their friends! With enough people in-the-know, we can breeze past this goal in no time! (And if we go way past, we'll improve the game and/or use the excess for what comes next!)
Risks and challenges
As was mentioned previously, our base goal is stretched thin so as to not turn away backers. We've tried our best to account for the development of our basic game plan, but mistakes can be made, emergencies can arise, etc. We'll do all that we can to meet expectations.
Time is a factor, but in our projected release date, we've accounted for more time than we believe it will take to complete the most basic version of the game. If funding goals are exceeded, there is a bit of extra time allowed for further development, but it's possible that an increased scope will push release back farther.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)