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IGAVANIA (n): A gothic, exploration-focused action platformer, designed by one of the godfathers of the genre!
IGAVANIA (n): A gothic, exploration-focused action platformer, designed by one of the godfathers of the genre!
IGAVANIA (n): A gothic, exploration-focused action platformer, designed by one of the godfathers of the genre!
64,867 backers pledged $5,545,991 to help bring this project to life.

Update 22: $5mm Goal, Swordwhip Unveiled, and the Final 'Ask IGA'

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With $4 million, you've made Bloodstained the second biggest Kickstarter of any videogame ever. It's an honor to be a part of something like this, and with two days to go it's very possible you'll have made this the biggest game Kickstarter ever by the end of the campaign.

From the bottom of our dungeons: Thank you.

We teased it in this morning’s update, so let’s get right to the stretch goal castle which has now bottomed out at $5 million:

That’s right: Procedurally generated dungeons. In this mode you’ll face a new castle every time, braving its treacherous (and massive) halls for loot, glory, and the simple, satisfying feeling of going where no Miriam has gone before.

Once you’ve explored its passages and defeated its boss, you’ll get a code that will enable you to share your randomly generated dungeon with a friend. (If you find a particularly hard one, you can even share it with an enemy! IGA isn’t picky.)

It’s dangerous to venture into uncharted territory without a weapon, which means this is as good a time as any to demonstrate the bonus weapon that will be included in backer-edition ($60+) copies of the game. Behold, fresh from Inti Creates, the Swordwhip:

Since we couldn’t have done this without Team Sword or Team Whip, Inti Creates has forged a weapon that combines the benefits of both. We hope you’ll like it as much as bosses will hate it.

We have to stop meeting like this—for the second day in a row Amano’s signed poster tier has sold out and we’ve come back to beg one more favor of his signing hand. Again, he’s delivered:

But that’s not all the signatures we’re bringing to this update—we came prepared. This time we’re happy to announce that Amano will be signing the Collector’s Box print for all backers at $1000 or above

If you’re already at one of those tiers, thank you! If you aren’t, now would be a pretty good time to, say, have David Hayter or Robert Belgrade tell people whose phone calls you screen how great you are.

For our final Ask IGA, we thought we'd get a little meta by soliciting questions about Endings:

  • @BalancedHydra : What are the core elements needed to make a proper ending
  • @DanJosephsG : Will there be an attempt at having multiple endings like previous games you've worked on?
  • @cdtraderguy : In game endings, do you prefer anime or CG animation cut-scenes? Which do you think will be the best for Bloodstained?
  • @NicholosBelmont : Do you plan to set up sequels to Bloodstained in the ending? Or will is be more final, standalone, not a story you want to continue?
  • @AlexKey_3rd : What made you decide to show the events of AoS first, instead of Dracula's death? It was a clever move, but I would like to know why
  • @Dremark : What was the plan for the storyline of the Battle of 1999? What was the basic plot and how would it have ended?
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    1. Missing avatar

      BlackTelomeres on

      @Marcus Chamberlain
      Pretty sure it does

    2. Marcus Chamberlain on

      Does the $60 digital give me access to the beta?

    3. Missing avatar

      Christos Vasilis on

      I think a few anime cutscenes would be great for this game as well.

    4. Missing avatar

      David on

      Cannot not wait IGA for you guys to make a timeless classic even better than SoTN and please please please include the inverted castle !!

    5. Isra Kitikoses on

      Anime cut scenes. Please go with the anime cut scenes. It would be a somewhat timeless option.

    6. Harvey Storm Oswalt on

      CG/Animated from the same group that did Catherine and the Earlier Castlevania DS titles should be golden.

    7. RussellX3 on

      I would much prefer anime cutscenes.

    8. Missing avatar

      CrimsonX4 on

      @Caleb Child
      I think that would be a great idea. Rather than a rogue like mode that might risk the main games carefully crafted development I think a level editor would be better. I don't think randomly generated generic levels could ever compare to the fun and uniqueness of creating a level yourself.

    9. Missing avatar

      BlackTelomeres on

      @Caleb Child
      It would be nice if they'd release the level editor on PC as a modding tool like Bethesda does for their games' tools (I doubt it'd work on the console versions though). Stuff like that adds even more longevity and sustainability to a game, although I imagine it would take some effort and time to make it suitable for people who aren't professional devs to use and there's also the matter of what language it would be in... There might also be licensing issues and the like that prevent it though since they're not using their own custom engine built from the ground up for the game. It may be a pipe dream, but we can hope.

    10. Caleb Child on

      Procedurally-generated dungeons? No, no, no, no, just no.
      Look, I know that some people have made some pretty snazzy stuff with procedural generation, but I still can't stand them. I want to play a crafted adventure, not match wits with a random number generator.

      If you really want to impress us, include a level-editor instead. Let people craft their own unique dungeon experiences and share them with their friends and with the world. If you are going to go through the effort of splitting your assets into usable chunks that an algorithm can put together, why not just let humans put those chunks together? It would be WAY more fun and engaging for the players, and it doesn't have to be any harder for you to make than a procedure, as you only need to give humans the same pieces the program has. And everyone who just wants a nearly-limitless array of dungeons they can fight through will still get what they want.

    11. Ian Pirrall on

      ugh, im really disappointed by the announcement of a roguelike mode. if i wanted a roguelike, i could go....well, literally anywhere. there is no shortage of them, and this isnt what i want from Iga. if we're calling it "Igavania", then i want "Igavania" the way "Igavania" was intended. tacking something like this onto Bloodstained is just going to spread out development time, and either delay the game, or detract from the core experience. for what? a generic experience. great. just what we always wanted from Iga, generic.

    12. CRISHTANG on

      @Lino, of course I know it is a mode. I also know that when time and resources are tight on a project, compromises are likely to be made. They may decide to build the main castle out of mostly generic "one-size-fits-all-modes" level pieces as it would facilitate roguelike mode. Even if I never play roguelike mode it doesn't matter because the main game has already been design-compromised to allow for those extra features. The damage is already done the moment they start making the main castle pieces "optimized" for use in a roguelike mode. We need to hear DETAILS from the devs about this. This is why I am bringing the subject up: for all we know they could have a separate team and resource set JUST for this mode; which may not harm the design of the core castle but until we hear it from them, this WILL be a topic of concern!

      I would feel a lot better if they said this mode won't even be touched until the main game was totally complete and would be additional DLC, similar to how they built out the extra features later for Shovel Knight AFTER the game was done, solid, and delivered on what was originally promised.

    13. Missing avatar

      CrimsonX4 on

      I agree that if you guys manage to pull of a shading similar to GGXrd cutscenes could be done the in game models. Both sides would be pleased, since they would be 3d and look like anime.

      Just as long as the anime cut scenes aren't like DOS and POR's intros those where horrible.

      As for the Rogue mode. I think it is a good idea, as long as the main game and classic mode's level design takes full priority. I guess it would be like Bloodborne's Chalice Dungeons. Even then I would rather have a carefully crafted Igavania and classic levels full of challenge and details rather than a bunch of randomly generated generic levels. Though I am sure IGA and his team can handle it!

    14. Lino on

      @Kryst: You do realize that's a MODE and now what the regular game will actually be, right? So if you don't like it, just don't ever touch the "Rogue" option.

      If you guys manage to get a Guilty Gear Xrd level of shading, then just using the in game models for cutscenes would be sweet (and be both 3D AND "anime"). :D

      The Igavania team keeps adding stuff so "everybody wins" (almost) and people whine every step of the way. That makes me sad. The only actual gripe is that the non-backers (or anyone giving below $60) are being left out of content forever (sword whip, Iga-boss).

    15. Michelle A. Truax on

      @Kryst Ange It specifically says "In this mode" meaning there will be a normal dungeon with a normal flow and story, and then, like a "boss rush" mode, there will also be the "Rogue-like" mode as well.

    16. CRISHTANG on

      Good points brought up by many people here regarding the inclusion of the roguelike dungeon. I feel that if they can say (preferably prior to the end of the kickstarter) that the pieces of the roguelike dungeon are all *mode-specific* and will not affect the design, setpieces, layout, or variety of the main game in any way, it could be a good thing. We NEED to hear more from them about this - otherwise I've never really heard of a feature that could potentially wreck what was originally promised. Just the thought of what could have been a new, carefully created castle becoming compromised in the name of procedurally -generated randomvania adds the wrong kind of horror to this project. Roguelikes are not my thing and I've been avoiding them; its a rather convenient warning label. Bloodstained was going to buck the trend of the "low-budget, cant be bothered to make real content action platformer" plague of recent indie games, and give us the quality experience many of us have not enjoyed in far too long. Its a dicey proposal to drop a 5 million stretch goal that could basically turn our dream Igavania into some Rogue Legacy 2 wannabe, without properly explaining WHAT they plan to do if they are going to implement it. If the devs are reading, please SELL US on how this mode will NOT compromise the design of the game.

      Also, anime cutscenes FTW! The intro of Portrait of Ruin... the pace, the music, still sends shivers up my spine just thinking of it!

    17. SweetTaLe on

      Anime cut-scenes would work yeah. Because they'll look neat even in the future. Also I'm really liking the design of that sword whip.

    18. kdfukuyama [BR] on

      ANIME cut-scenes using Guilty Gear Xrd CG technology! FTW!!!

    19. Hitokiri_Ace on

      Anime cut-scenes would be my vote as well. :)

    20. Missing avatar

      Soledad on

      Why don't have both!!?

      Ok, so for budget and time restraints, anime scenes for the win. ^^

    21. Ristul on

      I would also prefer anime cutscenes, It just looks like a great fit and as M A said it is timeless!

    22. Missing avatar

      AZM on

      True, I also prefer animated cut-scenes over CG because the former is timeless.

    23. Missing avatar

      AZM on

      All right soldiers, don't worry. Ben Judd said the Roguelike mode will be a separate thing and won't affect the development of the main game.

    24. Missing avatar

      VkBest on

      I prefer anime scenes. Why? Because in 5-10 years from now, CG scenes looks older than anime scenes.

    25. Brieuc Hesnault on

      Hey !

      The swordwhip really look awesome ! I would love to see some dark glow around it to make people understand it is the mightiest weapon you could find within the caslte (if so it is).

      It is also amazing how was the funding climb again and again ! I am happy we will have the third character and the rogue dungeon idea looks really awesome ! All I can hope is that we could keep funding after the remaining hours.

      All my support and good luck for the devlopment !

    26. Jacksukeru on

      I'm all for a Roguelike mode, if we can make it there. Obviously, they'd have to reappropriate assets and none of the set pieces would be there, but just limiting it to a few of the basic, most flexible, tilesets and use those to create a whole bunch of rooms that can be randomly interconnected would go a long way. Alternatively, they could go the Bloodborne route and have the roguelike mode be set in a specifc area, thus limiting it to a single, unique tileset (not saying that's excactly what bloodborne did).

      I'd assume that this would be the kind of mode that would be unlocked after a game clear. Depending on how extensive the mode is, if it generates small level after small level with a boss leading to the next layer, I could see it being a fun, post game mode. More involving than a simple boss rush mode.

      As for it affecting the design of the main game I'm not too worried. Partly because I don't consider level design to be a particular strength of Iga's Castlevanias in the first place. Individual places do have a general feel and some common design elements, caves filled with water, or vertically built towers for instance. But even those are created by repeated assets, and there's rarely anything but a distrubution of platforms that changes them up. The overall shape of the environment and the enemies you meet in it are generally what gives each area its "feel". It's not having specific stage gimmicks or an interactible environment.

      Either way it's a long ways off, I'll be happy so long as we get a third character : )

    27. Missing avatar

      BlackTelomeres on

      @Kryst Ange
      I think it can actually be good for the base game if the designers go about it skillfully and really think about how they create the assets, where more modular assets (chunks of each level able to be fit together in a lot of ways) can allow for the level designer to make more varied rooms in the base game. And variety in each room really helps spice up your traversal through the castle. I do however see your concern though because it could also turn out problematic if the team goes about it in the wrong way and puts together really 'default' rooms without much variation to them. Modularity also might be a bit harder to accomplish for a 2.5D game, which of course this game is, rather than a 2D game.

      I don't think ceiling heights or floor heights need to be too huge a problem because they can restrict certain formations out of the randomized areas while still using them to vary ceiling and floor height in the base game. That said I actually would rather they allow the randomized areas to vary ceiling and floor height too in order to make more variation there.

      In the DS CVs, budget limitations and the way each area's tiles were made encouraged some level of copy-paste rooms, or cut and paste as you say, because the assets weren't always modular enough and there simply weren't enough assets for some of the areas' sizes (which again I'd chalk up partly to budget limitations which wasn't really their fault). You only had so many places one tile could fit into the next and so you saw some rooms that were similar to other rooms. More varied tile sets really could've helped that. Also to be fair some areas had it less than others too; like the City of Fools had a really well-realized tile set and had to have it--due to the circular nature of its design.

      I agree that something like Rogue Legacy had some problems because it was only half way to making the randomized elements form robust, more organic, quality areas--they needed more interesting and unique tiles/assets to spice up rooms and pepper them throughout rather than just doing around the minimum number of tiles for an area to accomplish its motif. I guess that could also be down to budget/time in that game too though.

    28. Missing avatar

      BlackTelomeres on

      @margibso
      It seems it will be a mode that will generate a roguelite area using the game's existing or unique assets (they aren't clear on which yet), and thus it will not really be a part of the main game (maybe level and equips carry over though). I actually would've liked it to be perhaps a special background door in each area you go through that generates it with that area's motifs, so it's a bit more integrated with the main game, but not a part of the overall map of course since it would be impossible to merge a random map with the existing one. Axiom Verge does something like this but it hides the entrances.

    29. Missing avatar

      AZM on

      @Inti Creates @IGA

      I share the concerns of my fellow backers. Can you please elaborate on how the Roguelike mode will be worked on / done?

      As one of the backers mentioned, knowing it, it will take a lot of time to make, which will take time from perfecting the main game away and / or will effect the design of the castle by making it simpler so it can fit the Roguelike format.

      So can you PLEASE answer our concerns? It is the final stretch goal after all.

    30. HyperNexus on

      @levy Yeh it'll be seperate thing or a specific place. Like Bloodborne's Chalice Dungeons. Completely optional.

    31. Levyathyn on

      I'm pretty excited, but I'll be a bit disappointed if the Roguelike setup isn't an option. At the core, IGA's expertly crafted castle is what makes the experience true to form. On the other hand, the replayability of an additional Roguelike mode would be immense, and, in my opinion, a major step up for the game.

    32. darkstorm on

      5mm? I've got a ruler you can have to break through that goal lol.

      As for roguelike I feel that procedurely generated sections are generally boring as they haven't been created with whatever abilities you have at the time in mind. In igavania/metroid etc games, you have ledges "just too high" to get to and so forth. I realise this is going to be a bonus mode but I can't say I'm too hyped about it or will spend much time with it. :/

    33. Missing avatar

      Octavio on

      I share the same concern as Kryst. Roguelike mechanics would be just fine on the prequel minigame, and give it some more replay value. But for the main game... I don't think it's a good idea. The best thing they can do to revalorice game assets (and the best possible goal for this particular KS) , is developing a map editor for us to play with.
      Honestly, I was specting that as the 5 million goal.

    34. Ben Judd on

      @Daniel
      You get the main game with all the awesome stretch goals and prelude content for a much cheaper price. Probably when we sell the title digitally it will be 30 with the extra content between 5 -10 dollars. Saving 7 - 12 dollars and supporting the development is a nice package I would say.

    35. Missing avatar

      The Most Curious Thing on

      @Kryst I won't necessarily argue the "biggest castle" point, since that does bother me for reasons similar to yours. I think that was a ****-measuring stretch goal.

      But as for procedural generation, it only has as much of an effect on individual room design as the developer lets it. Even Rogue Legacy has a small handful of stock room designs that it pieces together without much variance in architecture; I imagine that's what Inti would do for an Igavania-styled game. All of the procedural generation could take place on the map screen: you script a map-painter that only draws map tiles, walls, and doors like you see on a typical Igavania map screen, and then plop stock room designs into those rooms (for example, there may be three different stock 1x1 rooms, four different stock 3x2 rooms, etc.) Then it's just a matter of populating the rooms with "props" and choosing appropriate backdrops/parallax layers/whatever. All of this can easily be done with already-existing assets because you don't need to procedurally generate a world all the way down to the polygon.

    36. Missing avatar

      Michael "MegaSeveN" Clarke on

      @Daniel - What? $5 gets you IGA's gratitude and $28 gets you a digital copy of the game. Regardless, even if you only contribute $1, you're a backer... you just don't get any rewards.

    37. CRISHTANG on

      I had a feeling people who do not understand game development would not understand why even if the roguelike dungeon were an extra/additional MODE, it would STILL affect how they go about building the pieces that make up their game map. I understand that they said they would only be adding features, but this is one feature that affects the development style, and ultimately the quality of the game itself. To fit pieces of the world map together so that they can be procedurally generated, it affects their size and shape, whether their ceilings and floors can or cannot be varied or different heights. To make the pieces fit together for that kind of play, the level construction "set" will have to limit the kinds of variety for those elements, or will have to use an entirely different set of assets and setpieces - which is unlikely due to their already massive workload. Either they design what they are building from the main game in mind which compromises design, or they make the roguelike use pieces that are totally different - which will make them not feel the same as in the main game, which would be preferable if a mode like this were to be included at all - but it increases their workload by a huge degree. Until there are firsthand statements and examples of how implementation of procedural levels will IN NO WAY affect how they design the world they are building, you'd better assume that the design will be some kind of compromise and that's not what I'd want to support. Between a feature like procedurally generated maps and them now having to build the biggest castle ever, this might end up becoming Cutandpaste Vania. In response to Rogue Legacy; I did not enjoy that game, or Risk of Rain, or the other games like it. Its not for everyone. I've seen MANY comments in this thread echoing that sentiment. The people who like Rogue Legacy can go play that game; games like that are being made; go play them if that floats your boat. But what the majority of supporters here are for, is a real Igavania to be made, without compromise. To pander to what is "trendy" now would be a great disservice to the vision and promise that was being originally proposed.

    38. Daniel on

      So, if I contribute to make this game, but I just spend 28$, I am not considered a backer and I get nothing.

    39. Missing avatar

      Michael Schaller on

      Holy cow?! Procedurally generated dungeons?!
      I've just DOUBLED my pledge to make this happen!
      5M will increases the replay value of Bloodstained massively!

      To everyone who doesn't know what this is about, try Rogue Legacy. A free demo is available under http://roguelegacy.com. Be warned though that you will die a lot in Rogue Legacy. That's intentional and part of the charm of the game.

    40. Missing avatar

      Uberpuma on

      I don't know what is so hard to understand, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the final stretch goal. It is an additional mode, the game will have the specifically made-same as everyone else castle. We will also have the option to have randomnly generated maps if we want. It has been stressed time and time again that they are only adding features, not replacing/taking away any of them.

    41. Missing avatar

      Inochi Nagi on

      @ Yannick - lol, strangely enough I actually tweeted a pic of Ivy Valentine holding her swordwhip to the swordorwhip twitter handle as my vote.

      I also tended to vote both sword and whip (a bit more on the side of whip tho) on the swordorwhip site. I couldn't have been the only one who suggested it but I thought I was in the minority. Sure, I expected both swords and whips to end up in the game despite the result of the votes but I seriously didn't think I'd be seeing what I am now. Ivy Valentine is my favorite Soul Calibur character and one of my favorite video game characters, and a big reason is because she's got what I call the best weapon of all time. She'll always be the original sword-whip wielder but it's a weapon that deserves to show up in more hands and more games. I can't wait to see what Miriam can do with it. I think I have to say this is my favorite revelation so far (though maybe how it's implemented isn't gonna be as amazing as I'm imagining... I hope at least it allows for some awesome and unique combo attacks). The only thing better would be a game with gameplay centered around use of a sword-whip.

      Love the Ask Iga videos. One of my favorite things already that have come out of this project is seeing all the interviews with Igarashi. I could never get tired of Igarashi-san talking about game design and the Castlevania series. Man, I just thought of some questions myself. Is it too late to ask? I want to ask him about some non-Castlevania stuff he's worked on, like Otomedius. I loved Otomedius. One of the best Gradius games ever, imo. Konami and their franchises truly lost an absolute gem with Igarashi-san's departure...

    42. Anderson Silva on

      Please, make it EXTRA clear that the Roguelike Dungeon mode will be a separate thing from the main game. I've seen a bunch of confused people wondering if the game's design will change in case this stretch goal gets funded.

    43. Wilson Lim Jiun Voon on

      haha, i especially loved that winestained comic

    44. Luxliev on

      Remember 5mln goal is NEW MODE! We will have standard single player big castle and mode with randomly generated one there is no reason to lower the pledge!

    45. Missing avatar

      KB on

      Hey, Rougelike mode would be pretty damn cool. I don't know what the plan is, but I'm kind of hoping you would be able to import a character from a main game save and have the difficulty scale with that (or let you set it yourself). That would really give some life to the endgame, where you get a chance to go all out with all abilities, just trying to survive.

      Also, I second in-game cut scenes. I prefer them to be pretty low-key and part of the game, instead of something grandiose where you just put the controller down.

    46. Missing avatar

      Cesar Araujo on

      If they do cel-shaded 2.5D, they could get a nice middle ground by having anime aesthetics in CG animation. If they inspired themselves in Guilty Gear Xrd's techniques, it could be amazing.

    47. Aaron Thwaites on

      Roguelike Dungeon...
      Mind. Blown.

      I enjoyed Rogue Legacy while I had PS+, but this would be my go-to game for a quick time-sink (along with Tetris) if this pans out. And so help me, I do wish it does. I'll see what I can spare to bump up my pledge.

    48. St. McDuck on

      In regards to cut scenes: I'd like to see in-game cut scenes to keep the flow of the game going and because, based on what I've seen so far, the graphics will be stylized enough that cutting away to some other visual style would be jarring. Since it's 2.5D, I'd think it would be easy to zoom in in-game for dialog and get some dramatic camera angles in there.

    49. Carlos Oporto on

      Now we are never going to know what happened in the Battle of 1999. And what happened to
      Alucard at that time. Well at least we got a new storyline with Bloodstained.

    50. JP on

      that haiku... so deep...
      i don't know how to make a haiku.
      so i won't try. maybe nex time.