Update: 14: Final update and thanks
Update 13: Blackmoresbane.com
Update 12: Donna Burke speaks!
Update 11: Story update!
Update 10: Screenshots and Donna Burke News!
Game + Full Digital Art/Strategy Guide Pack + Soundtrack for $40!!!
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Please refer to updated rewards chart! Differs from rewards shown on right!
David Hayter DWI (Driving While Internetting)
Mr. Yoshioka on Blackmore Character Design
Mr. Furukawa on Blackmore
Update #9: Jeremy will be on the 8-4 Play podcast Friday 2/21!
Update #8: Mr. Furukawa speaks!
Update #7: Shout out and congratulations to other projects!
Update #6: Apology over small Rewards error re $70/$80 tier
Update #5: Main theme by Motoaki Furukawa!
Update #4: Check out our new rewards!
Update #3: Emma and Descartes revealed at last! and Mr. Yoshioka speaks!
Update #1/#2: David Hayter speaks!
Play Motoaki Furukawa's Main Theme below!!!
- Blackmore is a Japanese adventure game that takes the best of the classic adventure genre, including awesome Japanese art, clever puzzles and great storytelling and combines them into an all-new game in a rich, immersive isometric environment that will keep players on the edge of their seats.
- You play as Emma Blackmore, a brave young heroine who, along with the help of her steampunk gadget-laden robot sidekick, Descartes, must track down a serial killer that's terrorizing the people of East London.
Her normal life is shattered one day and she finds herself embroiled in a dark and twisted mystery that exposes the dark side of the city and the dark side of humanity itself.
Jeremy Blaustein (Snatcher, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill), a master storyteller, an ace at writing great dialog and a voice director that brings out the best from actors, will lead the team. Satoshi Yoshioka (Snatcher, Policenauts), with his distinctive and immediately recognizable awesome Japanese style will be spearheading the character design and Motoaki Furukawa (Gradius, Snatcher), one of the game industry's most experienced game music composers will handle the original music to further enhance the strong Japanese aesthetics.
Platforms: Blackmore will be developed first for PC and Mac and will be made available on Steam and other DRM-free digital download distribution methods.
Home consoles are also a high priority, but only if we can afford them via stretch goals.
Languages: We’re planning on English and Japanese for the time being but may add additional languages depending on the kind of support we receive from various regions.
Estimated release: Our goal is for spring of 2015!
# of Players: One-player, of course!
Blackmore is a steampunk-themed adventure game set in an alternate universe of Victorian era London in 1888.
Imagine an alternative London in the Victorian Era - a world where European and Asian fashion and aesthetics collide, a world where advances in automation, electronics and chemistry have ushered in a wondrous new world filled with robotic servants, steam-driven transportation and ornately gilded steampunk gadgetry. But as wondrous as it may appear, all that gleaming steel and burnished brass hides an underbelly tainted by rust and tarnished with grime. It's a world where homeless children beg for food, their hands yellowed and stained from toiling in the match factory, a world where families sleep crowded together in rat-infested rooms, a world choking to death on its own gluttonous greed.
This is the world of Blackmore.
1888. It was a time of truly breathtaking changes: It was the year in which Germany got a new emperor, the year Van Gogh cut off his ear, the year of the first long-distance car race, the first motion picture, the first home camera, the first Sherlock Holmes book, the first ballpoint pen, the first indoor baseball game, the year Tesla and Edison waged their famous “War of Currents” and the first time that electric trains ran in the first underground subway in the first tunnel built beneath a major river. It saw the birth of the telephone, radio waves, phonographs, light bulbs. But perhaps most memorably, it was the year of the Whitechapel murders, the year of Jack the Ripper.
You play as Emma Blackmore, a young half-Japanese woman and daughter of the late Lord Simon Blackmore, inventor and nobleman. Emma lives in a huge mansion with her brother, Jonas Blackmore, and mother, Teruko Honda-Blackmore. More like her father than her mother in temperament, Emma is strong-willed and determined to do more with her life than merely achieve the Victorian woman's ideal of becoming a wife and mother. Having been one of the first females to receive a medical degree from Oxford, she starts her own medical clinic in East London to service the needs of the skyrocketing poor population. Her closest companion is Descartes, a boy robot built by her father, Simon, to watch over her.
Emma's day begins just like any other. Woken hastily by Descartes, she rushes to morning breakfast served by her family’s automaton servant. Her moody brother, Jonas, thinks she should quit work and find a good husband and her mother, Teruko, is preoccupied with the demands of running the household and attending to her late husband's estate.
Emma jumps on her steam bike and pedals to work, but before the day is over, she finds herself face to face with a crime scene of unspeakable horror. With the help of her robot sidekick and various gadgets left by her father, she puts her wits to the test and sets out a quixotic quest to find the culprit and put an end to the terror besieging London.
Emma Honda-Blackmore – (22) Heroine. Brilliant and independent like her father, she is a pioneering medical doctor serving the poor and needy in the slums of East London. Sharing her father’s gift for invention, she uses technology and newly emerging forensic techniques to solve crimes.
Descartes –Emma’s companion robot built by her father, Simon Blackmore. Descartes relationship with Emma is stormy at times, but he follows her wherever she goes.
Jonas Blackmore – (25) Voiced by David Hayter, Jonas is the emotional and brooding young head of the Blackmore family. He feels inadequate compared to his great father and struggles to prove himself worthy of the name Blackmore.
Lord Simon Blackmore (deceased) – Scientist, inventor, father of Emma and Jonas, husband of Teruko. The greatest inventor of his generation and former mentor of Nicola Tesla, he left his daughter with a gift, a robot friend named Descartes.
Teruko Honda-Blackmore – Emma’s Japanese mother. She remains Emma and Jonas’ only link to the great heritage of their Japanese family, the Honda clan. Her father was a Tokugawa Era inventor and she still possesses many of his secrets.
Detective Frederick Abberline – Lead detective for the Whitechapel Murders. A former clockmaker and grieving widower, his command of steampunk weaponry is impressive.
I'm guessing most of you are familiar with the style of gameplay in adventure games, but let me take a moment to describe it for those of you who are not. In Blackmore, the main character, Emma, along with Descartes, will be moving from area to area searching for clues, asking questions and solving puzzles via a mouse-click menu system. All of this will be presented within a gorgeously drawn isometric 2.5D environment.
Whether or not you advance in the game will depend on how quickly you can pick up on the various clues and on how well you employ the tools at your disposal. Emma, being not only a trained doctor but also the daughter of a noted inventor, has a number of tools and gadgets at her disposal. The most sophisticated of these is a high-tech monocle equipped with a variety of technologies including the ability to take photographs. It also gives her the ability to use other forensic techniques that can reveal things not at first visible to the naked eye.
Incidentally, all the photos you take will be, of course, hand-drawn closeups of objects or characters seen from Emma's perspective and will be stored in the game's memory and made available for viewing anytime.
Emma will be assisted by her mechanical companion, Descartes, who can perform various tasks suitable to a robotic sidekick of his diminutive proportions. Think of him as a combination guide, partner, comic relief and multi-tool.
- Highly detailed rendered 2.5D isometric graphics
- Classic point and click/menu mechanics
- A powerful orchestral soundtrack written and performed by Motoaki Furukawa, a Konami musical legend
- Classic Japanese art-style drawn by veteran Konami artist, Satoshi Yoshioka, who has worked on such hits as Snatcher and Policenauts
- A compelling story and script written by Jeremy Blaustein, the man behind the English Snatcher, Metal Gear Solid, the Silent Hill series, Shadow Hearts, Suikoden 2 and many more.
- Top voice actors such as David Hayter, Jeff Lupetin and others directed by Jeremy Blaustein
Come on, why should I help you?
(A personal appeal from the director, Jeremy Blaustein)
So I've been playing games for a really, really long time. I love 'em. The fingers don't move like they used to, though, and I'll never be a great 3D game player like I was back in the days of flat, side-scrolling games... But there was always one type of game I especially loved. Call them graphic adventure games, visual novels, or point-and-click games. I grew up playing the Sierra point-and-click games but it wasn’t until I saw “Snatcher” that I really felt the magic of what was possible. The art, the music, the Japanese “feel” of it. It was like all the Japanese cartoons I had watched as a kid, but suddenly made into an interactive game! I couldn’t get enough of it.
Do you love Japanese adventure games as much as we do? Do you wish you could play all those great Japanese games that you know are over here? Japan is filled with them, but they never seem to cross the shore and make it into your hands And why is that? Well, as a game localizer for 20 years, let me tell you why.
You see, behind every Japanese adventure game is a great writer, an author with a vision. And like all authors, he writes what he understands and he writes for his audience. In this case, a Japanese audience. Like I said, I have been localizing games for such a long time. Snatcher, Silent Hill, Metal Gear, Shadow Hearts, Dark Cloud, Valkyrie Profile, and on and on. The one thing I can say with certainty is that so much of the energy and vitality of the original story is lost in the process of translation. It is unavoidable. You lose the multi-dimensionality of the original text. You lose the charm, the depth, the subtlety and the connection between author and audience because it was written for people who share a language and a culture with the author. Simply, it is very difficult to infuse the fun and vitality back into a script after it has been removed from its original language and context. Only the best can even do it passably well.
That’s where I can help because I understand Japanese culture from the inside out but I also understand my own culture. I have chosen a setting and a time period that will make a smooth cultural translation that won’t have any resistance in connecting with the West as well as the East. Indeed the character I have chosen, Emma, being a half-Japanese heroine really represents that effort towards merging both sides. The game too will be a hybrid of all the best Japanese art and music but written by someone who understands the best of both worlds from a 20-year career of translating back and forth between them.
We are in an age when this kind of fan-backed project can be made into a reality. Please work with me to help me make a game that is really a love letter to a genre of games that means the world to me.
I'm acutely aware of the fact that this is a new undertaking for me. Though I've been the game industry for a long time and been involved in the creation of games, I have never taken on such a large role. So why do I have the confidence that I can accomplish it? Well, the most important thing is that I won't be doing it alone. With great contacts and access to top-notch talent, I promise to flesh out the team so as to guarantee a great result.
In addition, you won't be backing this alone. I'm putting in $50,000 of my own savings into this project because that's how confident I am. That's why with the modest goal of $200,000, I am certain that I can achieve the goal I've set out.
By helping us bring the game of our dreams to fruition, you will be part of a revolutionary moment in game history in which fans' voices can actually combine to bring life to a precious and original work! We need your help so that we can translate our love and our passion into a piece of art that will excite and move you, a piece of art that you, the supporters, can really call your own.
We truly see this as truly a moment frozen in time, a brief chance to bring to life something that does not yet exist but which is struggling to be born. It can only be done with your help and encouragement and so, from the bottom of our hearts, we're asking for your trust and support. We will NOT let you down.
Works by Satoshi Yoshioka
Since you've read this far, I have to assume you like the sound of our project and can appreciate great looking, original art. Well, here are some other pieces of work by our character designer, Satoshi Yoshioka. Enjoy!