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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.

October Update: Podcasts, Planners, and Prognosticating

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October: The most tonally appropriate month for any Igavania. Are any of you prepping Bloodstained Halloween costumes? Tag them #igavania on Tumblr (post them on the Bloodstained forums, while you're at it) and I'll grab some cool ones for our November update.

As for our October update, we've got a podcast with Ben Judd, a design update from IGA and a new (old) team member, and a shoutout to another crowdfunding campaign trying to keep classic gameplay around and vital. So without further ado:

If you haven't filled out your survey yet, consider this your monthly reminder: Fill out your survey! You can always go back to your survey link to change your answers later. (If you never got your survey, or don't think you did, e-mail us at orders@fangamer.com.)

But what happens, you ask, if you or someone you know hasn't even backed yet? Our slacker backer campaign is now available at this easy-to-remember, easy-to-share link: Igavania.com/back. Use it just like you would the Kickstarter page!

Good news for the long-named among us: We've just gotten word from Inti Creates that you'll now have 26 characters all to yourself on the credits screen. We've also had a few questions about the Credits Clan, so I bugged my coworker Steve, Fangamer's official Customer Servant, and he offered some clarification.

If you’ve backed at a $100+ tier, you’ll be eligible to put your name in the credits. Choosing a Credits Clan is an optional part of that reward that will only affect which header your name is listed under during the credits. For example, if you pick Clan Katana, you'll be listed under the “Clan Katana” header, along with everyone else who picked Clan Katana. If you don’t select a Credits Clan, your name will be listed under a general header with everybody else who didn't.

Each of our YouTuber Partner Clans and the two Community Clans will also have a secret in-game cheat code that you can use to re-skin a specific starting item in the game. Each of these codes will be given to their respective community leader, who will be able to reveal them to their audiences however they’d like. These codes will not be restricted to any particular version of the game—anyone who finds a code can use it. (Collect all 18!)

XombieMike of the Bloodstained Forums has taken up the podcasting mantle, and for episode two of the Bloodstained Community Broadcast he brought Ben Judd on to talk about production, crowdfunding, the future of gaming in Japan... all his favorite topics. A nice summary from forum member Goobsausage: "I also find it highly appropriate that the reality bombs are being dropped on the Halloween episode."

That's just good luck, of course—having worked with him for a while, now, I can assure you that Ben would just as happily drop reality bombs on a Valentine's Day podcast. Or an Arbor Day podcast, or a Boxing Day podcast, or a—

I'd be perfectly happy continuing to name holidays, but you'd probably rather read IGA's latest update. Don't worry; I'm not offended.

Good evening, Army of the Night! It's time for another production update. The good news is that I’ve “run into” another longtime colleague—one of the most talented Igavania planners out there. With his help we're locking down a lot of key pieces of the design.

We haven't had a lot of new assets to show so far, but the good news is that next month we hope to be able to show you a few of the shaders we're trying out, so that you can tell us how we're doing. There are a lot of moving pieces, but we're hoping to get them locked down soon so we can move on to other pieces of the game. Using special shaders means we'll need to build out backgrounds first before we can move on to characters and enemies. So we've been generating a lot of background art. (It's still in the early concept phase, so we aren't ready to show it in detail yet.)

You may wonder why we've taken this approach rather than building out the game stage by stage. Because shaders will affect the tone of the entire stage, we think it's better to see the look of the entire screen before moving forward. That means rather than characters or enemies, backgrounds serve the best purpose here.

IGA sifts through some background concepts
IGA sifts through some background concepts

So now that we’ve generated a lot of background concept art, the artists are carefully examining it to decide on the appropriate visual design. After all, this is an Igavania game—atmosphere is key, and the background and foreground have to work together. After the backgrounds are polished, we throw enemies on top to see how gameplay and atmosphere will interact. Since all of this is so important, we want to make sure backers have the chance to be heard when we choose our shaders. As always, thank you for your patience.

With that, it's time I get back to finishing the story! The deadline I set for myself is right around the corner, so I'd best get back to work. I don't have all the character stories locked down yet, but the ones I do have are really cool. Really! I can't wait to tell you more in our next updates.

But before I go, I wanted to allow our super-talented new planner to introduce himself. You can decide for yourself whether we have the right man for the job or not!

Curry the Kid, by Kari Fry
Curry the Kid, by Kari Fry

Hello everyone! My name is Shutaro Iida. I’m a longtime 2D Igavania planner you may also know as "Curry the Kid"! Getting the chance to work with IGA again on another Igavania game is incredibly exciting! In previous games I did a lot of the programming, but I also put together an enemy character here and there in my spare time.

I'm going to make sure the team works to maintain that classic Igavania feel while still introducing enough new bosses, secrets, and scenes to keep all of you guessing. I'm really excited to be here, and thanks again for making Bloodstained happen!

[Fangamer Note: We're told Iida-san is at least partially responsible for the "Delicious Curry" attack, in particular.]

IGA has been keeping an eye on crowdfunded games ever since you guys gave him such a pleasant introduction to it. Recently he checked out the prototype for Indivisible, the 2D RPG from Lab Zero. Here's his report:

Since I played the English version and basically don’t read English well, I was kind of flying blind. So my gameplay was certainly not impressive, but please be flexible about my linguistic shortcomings!

Right from the title screen you jump straight into the game. I really like seamless title screen transitions, and Indivisible does this well. While playing the game it was clear that this team really knows action: The controls are very responsive, and even the jump timing feels totally natural. It’s hard to put into words, but there's something great about the feel of tight, intuitive jump timing. As a creator, you can tell right away that they get it.

Now let’s talk about the art style. I'll admit that, at first glance, you could find it looks dated… but then the animation kicks in, and everything moves so smoothly that the art is suddenly alive and none of that matters. There are lots of ways to make art do what you want, from shaders to animation to simply working at a higher resolution… but in this case they just nailed the animation. The effects are great as well, so the game just looks cool.

It’s a really polished prototype, and I hope people take a serious look at it. A lot of action games have been adding in RPG elements recently, for a variety of reasons, but it’s nice to find a game that has polish on the action side as well as the RPG side. I enjoyed it—and it’s a free prototype, so I hope more people give it a chance. The prototype is available for Windows, Mac and Linux right now, and console owners... maybe wait just a little bit longer, OK?

You can back Indivisible here. And here, for good measure, is 20 seconds of IGA testing those jump mechanics: 

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Little Chook with some Halloween inspiration
Little Chook with some Halloween inspiration
    
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Comments

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    1. SixVicious on November 26, 2015

      Thanks for sharing, Iga. Feels good watching a videogame being developed from zero.

    2. Tyrone Wested
      Superbacker
      on November 22, 2015

      love how the colors for the backgrounds keep that stain glass feel. can't wait to so in action.

    3. Noah Heninger on November 20, 2015

      Those backgrounds are breathtaking.

    4. Rigel on November 11, 2015

      I absolutely love the backgorund concepts, they irradiate the feeling or previous Igavinias. Thank you Iga and lida for bringing back the magic.

    5. Duncan A. Doherty
      Superbacker
      on November 6, 2015

      @AK: Are you saying the concept art that Iga is sifting through for this looks childish? Or the video for Indivisible? If the former...you need to stop dropping acid son, and get your eyes examined. If the latter...eh. I didn't care for SkullGirls myself, but their style has improved since then, but still noticeably indie. Far from crap, though, either way.

    6. Nickywhat on November 5, 2015

      Just please please, do NOT end up with Mighty N0.9. This has the makings of being superb!

    7. Stefan Petrovics on November 4, 2015

      Got the survey now :)

    8. Stefan Petrovics on November 3, 2015

      Really nice backdrop design, but it could use a bit more of a gothicy touch to match the setting. I am looking forward to the tower level!
      On a side note: anyone else having problems with the survey? Still have not gotten my link and I already contacted fangamer...

    9. Missing avatar

      AK on November 1, 2015

      Meh....looks childish!! I was expecting Castlevania atmosphere. Looks like Indie bulls***.

    10. Kevin M. Brown on November 1, 2015

      Wow this backdrops look great. Most importantly THANK YOU for showing stuff so openly and keeping us included in the project. I love we see progress right in front of us rather than being completely dark windowed.

    11. Daniel Gasparini on October 31, 2015

      The backgrounds do look beautiful but I have a few comments on them-

      For one the standout locations from what I can see is that tower, I like any design where you are going up and not just running left to right for a long time. I love the blood fountain location, really dig the one with that weird portal thing in the room. Lot of the other locations I can't make out well but some don't strike me as Castle locations which worry me. I hope the focus is mainly put into the castle.

      Couple complaints, I hope the design of locations don't rely too much on big box with repetitive smaller boxes within. An example is the lower left corner shot that looks like it's within a ship. It might make sense within the ship but design like that can feel repetitive. I also worry that the visual look feels a bit too cartoony, all very bright colors, I hope the game keeps a very gothic tone like SOTN did so well.

      Otherwise beautiful stuff.

    12. Wendy Jones on October 31, 2015

      I don't see IGA do any cosplay
      I thought we get the achievement, LOL

    13. SweetTaLe on October 31, 2015

      Haha I knew you'd do an update on Halloween. Great stuff as always, it's exciting to see a game shape up.

    14. Hunter Hybrid on October 30, 2015

      Even though this is in its early stages, I am really excited for this game!!!!!!!!! Thank you guys for the update!!!!!

    15. Cameron Forrester on October 30, 2015

      Thank you IGA for spotlighting Indivisible! I have been trying to gain support for it for a while now, and to see the man himself playing and recommending it, just warms my heart!

      GO BACK INDIVISIBLE NOW!

    16. Zeil999 on October 30, 2015

      @Igarashi-san It works now! Thank you so much!

    17. Marcos Rueda Quijada on October 30, 2015

      Works great now thank you ^_^

    18. Missing avatar

      Christos Vasilis on October 30, 2015

      Those concepts backgrounds look great, am glad there is emphasis on atmosphere but I should have expected no less!

    19. Marcos Rueda Quijada on October 30, 2015

      Like Zeil999 said, i'm unable to update the credits name, only apears a drop down option and cant write a single character on it.

    20. Robert Halenda on October 30, 2015

      Glad to see an old friend join the team. Those background concept pieces are breathtaking, if the final game looks anything like that then this is going to be an amazing finished product.

    21. Koji Igarashi Creator on October 30, 2015

      @Zeil999, @Rigel: Sorry about that—looks like a problem on our (Fangamer's) end. Should be fixed now.

    22. Rigel on October 30, 2015

      @Zeil999
      Same for me :(

    23. Otoshigami No. 40723
      Superbacker
      on October 30, 2015

      Yeah. what AJ said. back indivisible NOW!! :)

    24. Koji Igarashi Creator on October 30, 2015

      @Kevin Hughes: You can go back to your survey link to change your credits name.

    25. AJ the Dragon of Dojima on October 30, 2015

      Fantastic update. DO NOT IGNORE Indivisible guys. Just like Bloodstained needed to succeed, that game needs to succeed as well. Give the prototype a try either now or on console when it comes out, and throw as much as you can at it!

    26. Zeil999 on October 30, 2015

      I'm not able to put in anything for my name in the credits. All it gives me is a drop down menu with nothing in it.

    27. Ian Michael Selch on October 30, 2015

      Oh sweet, a shoutout to Indivisible! It really needs all the support it can get, and fostering bonds between campaigns is important! If Bloodstained can get 5 mil, then Indiv can get 1.5 mil! C'mon backers, let's make both a roaring success! :D :D :D :D :D :D

    28. Missing avatar

      Matt on October 30, 2015

      Great update, but quick question. Will there be a link for the different clan leaders (you tuber channels and community clans) to make it easier to locate and follow to try and obtain all the codes?

    29. Kevin Hughes on October 30, 2015

      Great news about the credits being updated... but I already submitted a shorter version of my name. How do I go about changing it to the longer version?