About

Shujinkou Logo
Praise from Dengeki Online

 Overview

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 SHUJINKOU is an action JRPG that interweaves Japanese language learning into the story and mechanics while maintaining its appeal to gamers. It is currently being developed for the PC/Mac, and development is also targeting the Nintendo Switch,  Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

Story 

The Hasseiki

  A world where the Japanese language is the universal language has become a world filled with chaos due to the appearance of the Hasseiki (ハッセイキ), mysterious portals that produce Demons that are erasing the Japanese language at an alarming rate. Shu, Jin, and Kou come to meet in what seems like an inevitable fate, and attempt to recover Japanese before the world’s language disappears forever.

Core Platforming

The aim is to streamline the gameplay as much as possible, taking the instincts and quick reactions that gamers have and thoroughly integrating Japanese into metroidvania style gameplay. We’ve highlighted five core mechanics that make Shujinkou feel like an RPG. 

KANAKAE: Switch between Kana (and Kanji) and find each and every demon's weakness!

 Wield 5-6 different hiragana, katakana, or kanji per level and use them to strike the weaknesses of the Demons that lie in your way.     

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KOBUTSU: Find hidden artifacts to discover secrets in every level!

    Collect all the pieces to these artifacts found in each level to recover adjectives that can be used to alter the level's environment. 

ARAWASU: Learn and hone your skills (verbs) to better prepare yourself for the battles ahead!

   Use verbs as skills to buff your player and debuff enemies. The effect of the skill depends on the semantic meaning of the respective verbs.    

Kou's ACTIVE Skills
KANBAN: Learn about the enemies and environment by checkout out signboards hidden through every level and town

    Check out sign boards that provide hints about enemies commonly found in each area, as well as tips to find out the locations of hidden secrets. 

TATAKAI - Test both your morals & your Japanese skills

    While battling bosses, answer realtime questions that cover both the Japanese language and ethical questions that will affect the outcome of the plot. 

OUMAGATOKI - Demons transform into even deadlier forms and your vision is impaired. Be cautious as you explore!

    When 'Calamity Time' activates, demons, the level, and your kana and kanji change in various ways. Your sight is also limited, and enemies deal more damage. 

Kanji will be covered after the first story arc of Shujinkou is cleared! The Kanji will get more and more difficult as the story continues!
In certain areas, your equipped kana / kanji will undergo a unique change due to 逢魔時 (おうまがとき, Oumagatoki), or 'Calamity Time'

Minigames

Minigames cover one component of Japanese and contain a very in-depth progression system that, when cleared successfully, results in players learning Japanese and also further developing their bonds with the character in charge of the minigame. There are four minigames currently in development, but we have the designs set for even more! The more funding we get, the more content we can develop for these minigames! 

Radical Hunter (1 player mode)
  •  Radical Hunter: Learn Radicals with Hina! Pop the balloons that correspond with the currently selected ammo. The balloons can be in hiragana, katakana, romaji, English, or an icon depending on the difficulty, and there are both single player and multiplayer modes.
Number Racer (still in heavy development)
  •  Number Racer: Learn Numbers! Hit the green boosters that have the higher numerical values to get boosts and avoid the red boosters. Play in Time Attack mode or race other familiar faces and use various items that have their strengths determined by the value of the numbers!
  •  Kendama Kombo: Learn Counter Words! Fight in a one on one battle of speed and wits where the player must press the correct counter words that match the icons given by the dealer. Be faster than your opponent and strike with your kendama before you get struck!
3D development is now underway
Latest sketches and texture concepts for the waiting area before minigames start
Paintings that will be displayed in our currently in development 3D area
  •  Ijigen Wayfarers: Learn Grammar with Kiyo! Explore areas in the game in 3D and fight turn-based battles against familiar enemies, but use grammatical components as skills to defeat them and proceed! Find new treasurers and solve puzzles within the 3D world to survive!
  •  And more… (verb conjugation, intonation, Japanese last names, particles, etc.).

Strengthening Bonds while Learning Japanese

To immerse players into the world of Shujinkou, players will be able to communicate and strengthen their bonds with plenty of side characters and demons throughout Shu, Jin, and Kou’s quest to prevent the loss of the Japanese language. We’ve highlighted three core mechanics that make Shujinkou more than just another RPG.  

KOURYUU: Learn more about character's backstories and level up your KIZUNA and ISHI bonds with them!

    Learn more and strengthen your bonds by interacting with various side characters in the game. The KIZUNA system signifies how strong your bond is with a character, whereas the ISHI system gives you a taste of how a character feels during specific points during the plot.  

Some of the characters you can develop bonds with!
YOUKYUU: Fulfill quests from characters and find hidden treasure, new levels, dangerous demons, and more!

  Complete quests and tasks assigned by different characters not only to reap the rewards and strengthen your bonds, but to also find hidden secrets and areas in the world of Shujinkou. 

Youkyuu System Mockup (beta version is working but slightly buggy at the moment)
IZAKAYA: Learn more about drinks and use them to not only get an advantage in minigames, but to deepen your bonds with others!

 Purchase and drink various alcoholic drinks and Japanese pub food to not only gain buffs and an advantage in the minigames, but also learn the history, facts, and language behind these items.  

Izakaya System: Currently working!
More systems are being made right now. With more funds, we'll be able to add more and more content to Shujinkou!

Characters 

... and more!

Amazing Music

We have three amazing composers with different specialties who have already produced amazing tracks for Shujinkou. We already have some tracks ready for listening - check out traditional Japanese, jazz rock fusion, classical with vocals, and a chill rock tracks below:

 Traditional Japanese (with a hint of Oni~ )

 Jazz / Rock Fusion (with a live Sax player!)

Classical (with vocals!)

Chill Rock (with various instrument solos!)

Stretch Goals 

Updated (10/11/2019)
Mockup boxart for the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4

Meet the SHUJINKOU Team 

Shujinkou Team

 ... and more to join, hopefully!

Press & Media (Selected Quotes & Articles)  


Social Media & Contact

Check us out on Social Media!!

Rewards Matrix 

Kickstarter Rewards Matrix

Backer Rewards 

Updated Rewards! (Blue = Sale!)

How money will be used

  •  Art: Spent on animations (using SPINE), backgrounds, enemies, UI, CGs, and more. 
Kou's HP Gauge (Process)
  •  Programming: Paying developers and covering Unity Plus fees. Will also cover website hosting costs, Nintendo Switch Dev Kit (stretch), licenses with Sony / Nintendo (stretch), etc.
  •  Music: More realistic libraries, better instruments, more dynamic music, more live recorded instruments used for tracks.
  •  Business: Advertisements on social media and game news sites, sponsored blog posts and articles, attending game shows, other required software, etc.
  •  Kickstarter Fee: 5% of total funds + 3% + $0.20 per pledge (over $10) for a total of roughly 8-10% being taken from the overall total.
  •  (Stretch) Localization: Localizing the text into different languages, like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and more.
  •  (Stretch) Voice Acting: Adding Japanese and English voice acting to the game for both story elements and learning elements.
  •  (Potential Stretch) Manufacturing: Making clear file folders, T shirts, physical copies of the game, OST, and art book, etc.
Shujinkou Funds Pie Chart

Current Development Status

The development process for Shujinkou is split into 3 stages: [1] System Development [2] Content Production [3] Polish & Finalization. Right now, we are making  progress with Step 1, or System Development. Once Step 1 is complete, we will be able to quickly produce content and scaling should not be a problem. The majority of the funds will be spent on Step 2, or Content Production. Finally, we will have plenty of playtesting and special bonuses added to the game during Step 3 with the remaining funds we have.

Why Kickstarter?

We have worked very hard over the last 10 months with under $3000 to bring Shujinkou up to what you see here on this page. After seeing the demand for this kind of game on Reddit, friends and families, as well as podcasters and all kinds of different people at the 2019 Tokyo Game Show, it makes perfect sense for us to ask for YOUR help to turn everyone’s not so distant dream into a reality. By diving in with more brains, hands, and energy, Shujinkou will level up and fulfill the urge that millions have to really learn and understand Japanese.

Why is the game called Shujinkou?

Shujinkou (主人公, しゅじんこう) means main protagonist, or hero. When I (Julian) was thinking about the word before development started, I realized that there was a potential play on words that could be made. Each kanji has their own respective meaning, and by taking each kanji character that makes up Shujinkou (Shu means 'main', Jin means 'person', and Kou means 'public' or 'prince/princess'), developing a backstory and personality for each one and having them venture on a quest that will change they think and see the world was what drove this idea into a reality. We hope that you put yourselves in each of these heroes' shoes (and every other character too!) as you adventure through a story that is not just about recovering Japanese and saving the world, but also how much of an effect your decisions can have on the others and the world!

Bonus Content: Sketches & Concept Art 

Sketches, references, and poses for Jin
Sketches and Ukiyoe references for the Inoshishi, or wild boar
Frame by Frame Jin Run Animation
Rough Hairstyles and poses for Hina
Modernized Ukiyoe taking inspiration from a demon in 大津絵 (大津絵, Ootsu-e, Otsu folk art)
Rough sketches for one of Kou's special moves
Rough sketch for one of Jin's special moves
Initial thumbnail sketches for Shu

Risks and challenges

With Rice Games being a completely virtual company at the moment, there are obvious worries that things might die down or the team might dissipate. However, we have already been doing this for a year now and have only worked harder with each consecutive month. Most of the core systems are done, and we need the funds to help push content creation forward so that you receive a game that is filled to the brim with content.

Note that we will supply 1-2 update videos that show development progress each month, and will answer questions and concerns that backers may have both through email and social media!

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    You may choose to either obtain the selected tracks digital soundtrack (~20 tracks) or an electronic copy of our selected works artbook (~50 pages).

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    You will get the option you did not select for Mosa as well, as well as all of the previous rewards.

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    You will be added to our special Discord server where the team will send weekly updates and ask for your input as we continue to develop the game.

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    Senshi

    Design an NPC with Julian. The NPC will be active in one or more towns. You will be able to decide what it can say to the player (upon approval).

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    Design an Enemy with Julian. Go through the name-making and art process, as well as determine what kind of characteristics the enemy has.

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    [40% off!] Design a Boss with Julian. Go through the name-making, art process, and the types of questions the boss will impose on the player as they battle.

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    • SHUJINKOU
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    [50% off!] A discounted version of the SSS rewards (Senshi / Samurai / Shogun).

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    • SHUJINKOU
    • Selected OST
    • Selected Artbook (PDF)
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    [60% off!] Design a level with Julian, which will be polished and inserted into the game as an area players will have to explore to clear certain quests!

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    [70% off!] Design a fully fledged side character with Julian, who will have a complete backstory and affect how the players are within the game. This NPC will have a slot in the Kouryuu menu, with other characters like Hina, Fuku, and Kiyo, and will occasionally play a minor role in the main story.

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    • SHUJINKOU
    • Selected OST
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    [80% off!] Design your own town with Julian, to be placed within a hidden area in a certain land. This will be integrated with the lore and will host many secrets for players to discover as they continue through the game.

    Includes:
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    • Selected OST
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    [50% off!] Design a Japanese language learning minigame with Julian. Fluency in Japanese is required and the request cannot exceed the given budget. This also includes designing a character and their full backstory + activity.

    Includes:
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    • Early Access Demo
    • SHUJINKOU
    • Selected OST
    • Selected Artbook (PDF)
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    Machidoshiyori

    As an early bird, you will receive a digital copy of the game on your console of choice when it releases for the aforementioned discounted price.

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    Machidoshiyori II

    Town Elder

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