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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.

Development Update - The Village By The Castle


Happy holidays! How did you spend yours? At Fangamer we're ringing in 2017 by recovering from an office-wide chest cold. (Smart money is placing the blame on shipping packages six days a week during the Christmas rush, but since IGA got sick last update and we got sick this update, I'm going to be mighty suspicious if Mana or Ben Judd comes down with something later this month.)  

As IGA mentioned in the last update, we have some video of a new environment to show off—so let's get right to it!

Merry Christmas! This is IGA. 

Last update we shared how we build the environment, so for this update, we would like to introduce you to a new stage based on that method. Previously, we shared the ship and the castle entrance. I would like to introduce you to the village this time. 

As we mentioned at the beginning of our Kickstarter campaign, Bloodstained takes place in a castle! So now you're probably thinking, "What's this, a village?" 

I thought so, too, but yes: We have a village. In the narrative, we're still headed to the island where the castle emerged. There's a village nearby that we'll have to pass through on our way to the castle entrance.

As you can tell from the video, the village is red, which has nothing to do with Christmas! During the eruption of the Laki volcanic fissure in 1783 and 1784, "the afternoon sky was dark as night and red as blood," according to a contemporary saying from Hampshire, England. So we tried to express that in the afternoon scene you see here.

Building your visuals from a piece of historical data makes the world more realistic. (The internet is so useful!) The village is also under the demons' attack, so of course there will be enemies here. We are also planning to put a shop here to support the player, and you'll find Johannes, who we introduced previously, here too. 

In addition to Johannes...Oh, we can't quite tell you yet, but you'll hear more about them in our later updates. Please look forward to it.

Finally, I would like to answer a few more of your questions for next month's update. After that, we've invited Michiru-san to answer questions for a future update. 

Ask IGA 

For next month's Ask IGA, he'll will be answering his favorite questions from multiple categories: 

  • Gameplay
  • Storyline
  • Development
  • IGA / Wild Card

If you'd like to ask one, tweet @SwordOrWhip using the #AskIGA hashtag.

Even with the shortened update cycle Steve was able to find three more fanart pieces. Since IGA just showed off a new environment, I want to offer a prompt to any fanartists out there who'd like to appear in next update's spotlight: Let's see your best art involving the village environment and/or Johannes! 

As always, tag your art #IGAVANIA so we can find it, and thanks again for keeping the Bloodstained fandom moving. 










Taiga Aisaka, D-Boy, and 128 more people like this update.


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    1. Carl Goldsmith on

      Good day,
      Please could it be possible to change my Wii U copy of the game to a switch copy instead?

      Carl Goldsmith

    2. Jeremiah Babcock on

      The games not even out yet you literal retard. Save your opinions for when it does come out and you get to actually play it. Otherwise, if the art direction doesnt do it for you; then it doesnt do it for you. Stating your opinion is pointless; your thoughts will never influence a design choice you arent actively creating.

    3. janju on

      @Kyle Morris
      What do you mean "don't buy the game"? I am in this with 60 bucks. You don't seem to understand what i am writting. The gameplay graphics is far away from almost every other castlevania product. The exception being The Dracula X Chronicles (… ). And thats basically it, i feared the most that after IGA said he wants to use Unreal and 2.5D that this will be "Dracula X Chronicles 2" graphicswise. Please IGA don't contine further into this "fotorealistic" art look. It doesn't fit.

    4. Kyle Morris on

      Janju - If you think this is so bad then don't buy the game. This is going towards the classic IGA game style and 99% of the people here all love it. IGA does not need to watch the crappy Guilty Gear video of the a guy explaining how time consuming the process can be. He is fully aware what goes into making a game.

    5. janju on

      I still think the grafics looks super bad and that it was an very bad decission to go the 3D route with this product.
      Shantae is made in beautiful 2.5D keeping it's original flair ( )

      This game is so far away from SotN it's sad.

      The animations, the feeling from old Castlevanias just isn't there. The shaders for everything are completly away from cell shading or "castlevania" shading. Instead it looks like every other random 2D plattformer with realistic grafics. I really hope that Iga can still turn this project arround.

      This is a developer video explaining how extremly time consuming it was from Arc System Works' RED team to get the artstyle right in Guilty Gear:…

      Please watch this video IGA!!!

    6. Brent Taylor on

      My bad, it's the first half of 2018 right now, not the latter.

    7. Brent Taylor on

      @Steve See the September update:

      Expecting the latter half of 2018. For more insight as to "why", check out the first question under "II. About The Game" here in the forum's FAQs:

    8. Björn Berggren on

      I really hope that the attack animations get more intricate than they were in the demo. The kick and sword attacks should have several different animations so it doesnt feel so stiff. Really looking forward to this game to play it co-op with my brother. Keep up the good work.

    9. Missing avatar

      Michael Rogan on

      When will the game be released?

    10. Brieuc Hesnault on

      Thanks for this preview ! Could we expect another demo in the village ?
      Maybe you should take this opportunity for larger tests. :)

    11. Steve on

      Kickstarter says March 2017, surely this is incorrect. Is there a more recent estimation?

    12. Noah Heninger on

      Still releasing this for Wii U, or is it coming out for Switch now?

    13. XombieMike on

      Mana, our community manager has commented on the feedback for this update.

    14. Missing avatar

      superdrw on

      The shadow looks strange. I feel there is a light source on the top of right hand side of the character, can move forward, the character is following it.

    15. Missing avatar

      superdrw on

      I think we can discuss moving wiiu version game to switch platform. easy to developing, could enjoy in everywhere.

    16. Missing avatar

      Michael Rogan on

      My hope is that you don't go to the castle right away and have a ton of levels before then, like villages, fortresses, forest and caves. I hope backtracking is also allowed in all stages.

    17. Missing avatar

      Audean Frohick on

      Looks pretty good, if I'd have one piece of criticism for it though, I think the platforms in this area would look better if it were more clearly visible which spot you actually land on. because the awnings being slanted, it looks a little weird. I assume that it's something just for the area that is shown in the video, but if that were in a large portion of the game that would be annoying.

    18. Missing avatar

      Tom W on

      Great way to start the new year. Thanks for the updates, keep them coming. Stay healthy!

    19. Missing avatar

      Terence Tan on

      Looks abit weird as others have mentioned. Will this be Mighty No. 9 part deux? After all most of the same people are developing the game.

    20. Missing avatar

      Sébastien Orban on

      It looks, well, off. Kind of a beginner photoshop enthusiast mixing component with varying light and not understanding why it's not working together.
      Project got a great start, but now, I'm very afraid :(

    21. Missing avatar

      Moose Cheese on

      I am glad that there are going to be diverse environments in the game, and applaud that decision. However, the game's art direction is going down a different path than I had anticipated, the environments are more photorealistic and muddied than expected from the previous work shown, and the stylized appearance of the concept art. I am still hopeful that you can pull off a beautiful 2.5D game like Ori, rather than something that falls into the uncanny valley.

    22. Quinn Johnson on

      Love the look of the village! Variety of stages is always a big plus! :)

    23. Chris Taran on

      Game keeps looking better and better. Love the look of the village!

    24. Missing avatar

      Danny Campbell on

      Yeah, I've seen all the videos. So perhaps it might not be her specific shader. But the combination of this background and her model looks a little off to me in this video. And her model doesn't look as detailed to me. But that could be lighting and many other factors as well.

    25. Missing avatar

      Devin R. Lowe on

      @Danny Campbell: You may have to take a look at earlier videos, one of which zooms in on her character model (including the Demo footage).

    26. Missing avatar

      Danny Campbell on

      After seeing the newest update. The backgrounds look great and detailed. But Miriam's shader is a completely different artstyle (which I know people voted on) but after seeing it in action and motion, she looks almost washed out and faded compared to the background. There's not nearly the detail on her as there is with the background.

    27. NekuroRS on

      Very nice scenario there, good atmosphere, art/color and music, just perfect. I just want to point that while Miriam seems pretty fine on most platforms it looks a little odd on the roof tiles, while she looks good on the uppermost roof later, i wonder if we can tweak that.

    28. Josh Dusel on

      I do love that we are getting pretty frequent updates. Thanks. But part of my mind wants to look at this and say "this is just early development stuff, the finished product will be amazing" and part of my mind is saying "why are we still on early development on this. Are we ever going to get this game?"

    29. JDEzekude on

      I just happen to have been born in Winchester, Hampshire. :)

    30. Thomas Ryan on

      One critisism: When Miriam lands, stiff legged, it looks weird. She'd break her knees landing like that. Takes you out of it for a sec. Could you fix that?

      The level design, atmosphere, music are all fantastic. Good job guys.

      The watercolor fanart drawn in the newer style of Lupin the it.

    31. Neohybrid_kai on

      It's the lighting, Miriam looks like she's on a stage, especially when she's running in front of the wall (remind me of Tintin running with snowy lol), I think it's better if the light source comes from directly above (sun/omni type? don't know what its called). Background looks fine to me, gorgeous music as expected, and I LOVE when Miriam raises her hand though I don't have a clue whats that suppose to mean. It looks super cool.

    32. Eltanin on

      I agree with Thomas Happ's comment on the foreground geometry being too flat. The environment certainly lacks a lot of depth to it.

      I feel like even though the stage is in an early phase of design, this is the best time to address the planning of the structures and platforming in it.

      I would suggest playing around with different building shape, size and geometry. Let some of the buildings on the back show. Details can come up next, like windows with flower boxes, arch doors, tables and fountains.

      Give the foreground some breathing air as it feels a bit claustrophobic with the prominence of the flat buildings and similar textures and color. Think Order of Ecclesia's Wygol Village, on a larger scale.

      Even if this specific video doesn't show the main hub area of the Ruined Village and it's for enemy fighting only, there's no reason not to make it look, and specially, feel better.

      Thanks for the update and cheers for the team, you guys are doing a great job, Keep it up!

      P.D. The music sounds gorgeous! I can't wait to hear the complete soundtrack.

    33. Missing avatar

      Marc on

      I don't know if the procedural detail is being used but it's looking OK even though you can see the repetitiveness of the models if you look "too" closely. X )
      The falling roof is interesting and I imagine the destruction is to open the underground passage. That's nice.
      If I could make a small change, it would be to delay the roof destruction by half a second because it's a bit too sudden right now. I think a delay could make it more believable. Even better if it stutters once when cracking before falling.

      Anyway, the art looks nice. What processes do you guys go over with to design the levels ?

      On a side note, I believe the game could use a little Ambient Occlusion to add a bit more depth.

    34. Michael Medina on

      Looking good so far. Are you guys letting UE4 handle the dynamic mesh destruction or is all of that manual?

    35. O.F. on

      Aside from looks which I generally like there's one thing I can't get over in that footage :
      Where Myriam stands on the platforms.
      I find it very confusing.
      First she jumps onto that wooden (?) roof, she stays on the upper part, quite close to the wall.
      Then she jumps onto that slanted tiled roof and all of a sudden she walks on the lower part, very close to the edge (which I wouldn't have expected first seeing the platform, I think it's the part that's really wrong). She jumps on several such roofs (every single time I feel the landing is wrong), and finally she jumps onto that bigger similar looking roof that later collapses and once again she is in the top portion.

      I really find it inconsistant and confusing.

    36. Missing avatar

      OroCrimson on

      Now that I think about it, to add to my earlier comment, the visuals of the environment sort of give off the same issues that Dracula X Chronicles did. For some reason, Rondo's transition into 3D made the game look a lot duller and washed out compared to the vibrant colors and environments of the predecessor, and the game looks overall boring due to it. I hope for Bloodstained not to share that fate.

    37. Thomas Happ on

      Hmm, something about this environment feels a bit off compared to the others - maybe because the geometry is relatively flat while the building textures and/or their normal maps are very detailed and realistic, making it look a bit like everything is cardboard cutouts with a collage of photographs glued on top.

      I didn't get this same feeling from the ship or the castle entrance. I suspect it has to do with those being enclosed spaces while this is more open.

      I'm not sure how I'd go about improving it. Maybe instead of having the buildings all in a flat plane, have them staggered so that you are sometimes running on the roofs of those in the foreground and other times running on the awnings sticking out from the buildings in the background.

      Or maybe just having the textures and normal maps be a little bit less photoreal would make them seem less incongruous with the flatness of the buildings?

    38. John Stiles on

      The strong shadow on the player looks like an indoor spotlight, which makes the scene feel artificial. I think it'll look a lot better when the player shadow feels like it's being cast from the sun.

    39. Jesse Cree on

      At 0:20 the roof that crumbles looks very weird compared to all the other roofs, since Miriam stands at the top of this one, while she stands near the bottom of all the others.
      I think the look of where she's standing should be consistent, preferably with her at or near the top of the roofs.

    40. Jack Green on

      Like the look in general, but the protagonist looks like she is just pasted on to the world and not like she is part of it. So the difference in artstyle between backdrops and heroine kinda ruins the whole of the look for me.

      That and I think she moves a wee bit slow, but I am going to assume that that is because of her not using fancy combatmoves to traverse the terrain faster in these videos.

    41. Paulo Filho on

      I tend to agree with OroCrimson, the muddy color has its uses but it's fairly widespread as we've seen now. Hopefully these aren't final and they will still come up with better color scheme.

    42. Missing avatar

      OroCrimson on

      Admittedly I'm starting to get just a slight bit concerned.
      All the environments so far have been shown to have this dark muddy color palette. While it makes sense for the environment, I'm worried it's going to repeat the woes of Castlevania II where it all sort of blends together and quickly become visually uninteresting.

    43. Missing avatar

      David Holmin on

      It looks better every time I check back here! Has it been decided if it gets a Nintendo Switch version yet? I hope so. Bloodstained on a portable device seems like a good fit. ;)

    44. Seppo Seppälä

      Can't wait for the game! :)

    45. Missing avatar

      Viredae Marchette on

      Happy new year and keep up the great work.

    46. Stephen Tang on

      I'm glad to see progress. This project is well-managed compared to some other game projects.

    47. Stealthcat on

      Happy New Year doods