The pitch video is only half the story! Check out these juicy Video Updates for important additional insight into the world of Kung Fu Superstar! Also, for more important information on the project, don't forget to check out the FAQ (bottom of the page)
Video Update #1: Gameplay and Controls
Video Update #2: Training and Learning Martial Arts
Video Update #3: Building (and playing) Fight Choreographies
As we've got quite a lot of rewards to choose from (scroll all the way to the bottom to check them out), we put together this handy Rewards Table that greatly simplifies things
In Kung Fu Superstar players follow the amazing journey of Danny Cheng, a young action cinema enthusiast turned international movie star.
Through his eyes, players will take part in explosive fight sequences across a multitude of movie scripts and movie sets, using real Kung Fu and other Martial Arts techniques. Players are taught these techniques in an intuitive and engaging training mode integrated within the game’s main story.
Here are the game's 5 Core Values:
Good question! Well, the people who started Kinesthetic Games previously worked on some pretty high profile games. Here's some of them:
So we've got a good deal of experience doing this sort of thing!
It's been just over a year since we left our jobs and started working on Kung Fu Superstar full time. Since then we have been living off our savings. Absolutely everything you have seen and will see in our videos, we have accomplished with zero funding and through a lot of hard work, passion and love for the vision.
Why are we pointing this out? Because if you think that's impressive wait till you see what we can do with some actual budget behind us. We think that says a lot about our ability to carry out the project, even more so than our hardly negligible portfolio of past games worked on.
We couldn't agree more! And that's usually why most creators take to creating, because they really want something to exist that doesn't yet!
Honestly, why it hasn't been done yet? Our (somewhat pretentious sounding!) stab at an answer is that so far there hasn't been a team like ours that has tried doing it!
OK don't roll your eyes and click your tongues! Let us elaborate.
We think that in order to realise a project like this and make an actual good game out of it you need to:
Have the required amount of experience on how to technically achieve the vision. We covered this in the previous question.
Have the required amount of experience on and love for the subject matter (in this case martial arts). Key members of the team have many years of martial arts experience, have studied various different styles and have even won a few tournaments! Oh...and we all like Kung Fu movies :)
Lastly (and this is very important) have the required amount of love for the vision. And we're not talking about love of the idea that your finished vision might be the next big soulless cash cow (there definitely seems to be enough of that love going around!). We're talking about the love of the idea of making a game that will delight people because of a deep emotional connection with the creative vision and its execution. Don't know what you think, but we believe kissing your decent paying job at a nice and stable environment goodbye to focus all your efforts and personal finances on your creative vision could be considered as a pretty substantial act of love towards it!
So to answer the original question, "why haven't we seen this yet?" We believe it's because there hasn't been a team that combines all 3 of the above attributes. Maybe 1 or 2, but definitely not all 3 of them. And you need all 3 to make it happen.
Ok so there's two things that you will mostly be doing in Kung Fu Superstar.
Learning Martial Arts
Fighting in the movies
The way we are approaching it though is that these are not two seperate modes. They're both part of the single player story, which unravels in both of these branches of the game.
The training gameplay will be very different to what you've come to expect from most "self development" type games. It will be a very story driven and interactive experience. The teacher character, probably the most important character in the game, is likeable, believable and comes with his own distinct personality and back story, which Danny discovers over the course of the game. He is also very clever and observant as he will utilise motion control technology to provide meaningful and accurate feedback to the player. This will be an authentic, engaging, story driven and highly interactive experience.
The fighting gameplay follows Danny's stuntman career in Hollywood and Hong Kong as he starts off small, taking on low paying jobs in b-budget movies and works his way up to international stardom. In the single player campaign Danny will work through the various fight choreography sequences from the different movie contracts he will be auditioning for. In the Director's cut mode the fight choreography script is fixed, so Danny has to make sure he sticks to it. In the Improv mode things are a bit more freeform (and challenging) as Danny gets to choose how to approach each situation to achieve maximum combat efficiency and drama. Fighting is possible either with traditional controls or motion controls and players can even swap between control devices on the fly!
We LOVE Kickstarter! Ultimately, we're creating this game for YOU and there's nothing that's ever connected creators with their audience in quite like the way Kickstarter does.
Not only can you help us get the project properly off the ground now, but in the months to come you can also keep a close eye on the development and together we can make sure that when it gets in your hands, it will be a game that you will love playing.
At the same time, it's a scary (and rather new) process for us to show you all the hard work we've been putting into the project at such an early stage. A lot of things are unfinished, others will be changed completely and many many things are yet to be done. In the traditional way of developing games it would be MONTHS before we would dare making such a step!
However we are confident that you will appreciate where we've taken the vision so far and the potential of where we can take it in the future!
Kinect does work and is great fun to use in certain games. Kung Fu Superstar is one of them. It all depends on how you design and implement the motion control gameplay in your game.
Also if you don't like motion controls you don't have to use motion controls. Ever. You can play the whole game on your controller.
We're glad you asked because we spent AGES working on the Kung Fu Superstar rewards. But we think it was worth the effort as we've come up with some really cool stuff!
Our goal first and foremost was to create rewards that you would love owning and you would feel justified spending the money on. So we think you will agree we've priced everything VERY competitively and we've tried to create a LOT of different options to suit all the different budgets.
That did have the side effect of a rather lengthy reward system, but if you get confused, fret not, that's exactly why we created theKung Fu Superstar Rewards Table, handily also found at the top of the page.
In short, depending on your budget (and how much you want to support us!) you can go either for a:
White Sash Reward
Brown Sash Reward
Black Sash Reward
In the White Sash Rewards group you can find the essential rewards like the download of the game, soundtrack and artbook. We really love physical rewards over here at Kinesthetic so we crunched the numbers and made the impossible possible: we included the physical copy of the game in the White Sash Rewards group!
The Brown Sash Rewards is where you'll find Limited Edition physical items like the Kickstarter t-shirt and hoodie, various really cool books, a collectible figurine of Danny and the USB Butterfly Sword, our very own design and an item we are really proud of!
The Black Sash Rewards group we created for fans who take their Martial Arts seriously. Here you can find really premium Kung Fu items like the handcrafted Baat Jaam Daos and the tailor made Kung Fu outfits. These items also come with exclusive premium in game content.
The Legendary Rewards are once-in-a-lifetime type things like video calls with the game's developers, studio visits and immortalisation through in-game character likeness.
As we standardise the specifications for the various physical rewards over the coming days, we will be sharing more details on them including concept images or photos where possible. In the meantime rest assured that each and everyone of the people we've reached out to for the rewards are experts in their specific fields and provide only top quality products.
We wanted to come up with a really special way to thank those fans who really want to extend their early and long term support to us. These LIMITED reward tiers were created exactly for that reason!
For each of these rewards, you basically get
ALL White Sash Rewards
Plus a selection of the Limited Edition Brown Sash Rewards
Plus ALL Black Sash Rewards (at the Grandmaster tier)
Plus the full scale Kung Fu Superstar game which will be developed right after Kung Fu Superstar: Origin (the Kickstarter game) at practically no extra cost.
These rewards provide maximum value for money at their respective price points and we hope they will act as a great way to say Thank You for your invaluable support!
We've seen so many awesome projects and beloved old games, be revived from their slumber on Kickstarter (we actually backed most of them!) and that's incredible to see and be a part of!
With Kung Fu Superstar we are trying to create something completely new. A new gaming genre effectively where you will be able to pick up the controller and frantically mash some buttons to take out the baddies or jump up from your sofa and pull off the most elaborate martial arts moves!
We've all been part of restoration. Now we invite you to be part of innovation!
Stay tuned as this is only the beginning of this campaign and we have a lot of surprises in store for you and do send us your questions! We're only a small team who have taken on a pretty massive challenge, but engaging with YOU, our fans, is currently our #1 Priority so we'll do our best to answer all your questions!
We will use this section as a general information dump on our rewards so anytime we've got some more details for you on a specific reward this is where you will find them.
Keep in mind that everything you see here is for illustration purposes only and the final product you will get in your hands may vary. That said, never forget that the people running this campaign are gaming geeks themselves, so when it comes to our rewards... we've got pretty high standards!
pound coin not included... ;) (scale reference...in case you were wondering)
If you've got any comments or questions with regards to any of our rewards, just get in touch!
Risks and challenges
RISK: The ambition and scope of this project are not to be underestimated. We're trying to innovate across multiple different fields (gameplay, storytelling, genre diversification, technical, art) and we have to make sure we don't spread ourselves too thin while developing Kung Fu Superstar
MITIGATION: We already have our hands full breaking new ground across so many different areas, that re-inventing the wheel is the last thing we're interested in. This is why since the very early days of development, we took the decision to build our tech on top of the best Engine and Tools pipeline for games development currently available: the Unreal Engine.
Using Unreal ensures we don't spend time building infrastructure and instead have more resources free to focus on what really matters: making the most innovative fighting game ever. Also the wide adoption of the engine across the industry means we're never sort of people with enough know how to jump straight into developing Kung Fu Superstar when we need the extra help.
Even so, making Kung Fu Superstar the best and most versatile fighting game ever is a massive undertaking and there may be times when the ambition will need to be adjusted in order to ensure the quality of the experience is not compromised.
Our goal first and foremost is to make sure what's there works well and is fun to play (and we've already achieved that to a large extent). This is something that we intent to always maintain and never compromise, as we grow the project in order to achieve the full vision.
Origin is just a codename we've given the "Kickstarter" version of Kung Fu Superstar. Like we say in our pitch video it is effectively the first chapter in the story, the part where Danny gets introduced to the worlds of martial arts and Hollywood. Like every "origin story" it will be very exciting! If Kung Fu Superstar is "Season 1" think of KFS: Origin as the "two episode sized Pilot". It will contain all the elements that make Kung Fu Superstar the special experience it is (support for multiple control options, fighting gameplay, teaching/learning gameplay, story, multiple characters/environments) only in smaller doses (due to the limited budget). Of course the smaller doses become larger doses the more the project gets overfunded.
No it won't. With the kind of money we're asking for that would be unrealistic. However to ask for more would also be unrealistic (and unfair) as we don't want our backers to bankroll a AAA project, we don't think that's what Kickstarter is for. The way we're approaching it is, we made sure we ask for just enough to complete developing our innovative technology and build the exciting beginning of the saga with it in the form of Kung Fu Superstar: Origin. Once that step is successfully completed, we'll build upon that success and using our vast network of industry relationships we will move on to even more content rich versions of the experience available on even more platforms.
However if you want to extend your long term support to us and increase our chances of meeting our funding goal as well as securing an early copy of the next title for a platform of your choice at great value, we created the Adept, Master and Grandmaster Rewards *just* for you. These are Limited though so make sure you're quick!
The game with be playable using both traditional controls and motion controls on platforms that support it. We’re also building it in a way whereby you will be able to switch control method on the fly (whilst playing the game). Check out Video Update #1 for a cool demo of how this will work.
On PC in particular, which is the platform we are targeting with our Kickstarter game, users have a vast range of options as the platform is very open. At a bare minimum the game will support mouse and keyboard, controller and Kinect for Xbox/Windows. However we want to embrace the PC’s openness and the PC community’s love for innovation, so we are already experimenting with even more motion control options. More detail on this as and when we are ready to share, but for now let’s just say that the team are having exciting discussions with people like Oculus VR, LeapMotion and others.
As an "Honorary Dev" on the game you get your own your_name [at] kungfusuperstar [dot] com email address. On it you will be receiving weekly production updates from the various development teams on the game (Art, Animation, Design, Code etc). From this address you will also be able to email the dev team directly, share your thoughts on the progress of things, suggest ideas, recommend changes and generally engage in a back and forth dialogue with the game's devs.
Danny's locker contains an alternative training outfit for Danny that matches the outfit from the GUARDIAN reward tier. Train with Danny in matching outfits, how cool is that! It also contains additional advanced teaching scenarios exclusive to this reward tier.
ENTHUSIAST (WHITE SASH REWARD): All backers pledging at this level and above get an account for our exclusive backer forums, where you can stay on top of the developments around the game before anyone else and engage with the community and the development team. You also get a special thank you credit on our website.
Signed copy of the book "Fight Choreography: The Art of Non Verbal Dialogue" by Stuntman and Fight Coordinator John Kreng, the definitive textbook for Fight Choreography in action cinema + GRASSHOPPER Reward
Incredible value LIMITED Reward Tier for early and long term supporters of the Kung Fu Superstar vision. A physical copy of the full scale Kung Fu Superstar game, when that gets released, for a platform of your choice (PC/Console) + ALL WHITE SASH Rewards + 2 BROWN SASH Rewards of your choice.
GUARDIAN (BLACK SASH REWARD): Limited Edition, 3 piece, elegant Kung Fu outfit exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign + Exclusive "Danny's Locker" In Game Content (see FAQ for details) + GRASSHOPPER Reward
A beautiful Limited Edition, hand crafted pair of hardwood Butterfly Swords exlusive to this Kickstarter campaign + Exclusive "Baat Jaam Dao Forms" In Game Content (see FAQ for details) + GRASSHOPPER Reward
The Ultimate Kung Fu Superstar Reward Tier for Reward Completionists! A physical copy of the full scale Kung Fu Superstar game, when that gets released, for a platform of your choice (PC/Console) + ALL BLACK SASH + ALL WHITE SASH Rewards + 3 BROWN SASH Rewards of your choice + GRANDMASTER Credit in all our games EVER!
KUNG FU LEGEND: So you think the GRANDMASTER Reward is cool, but it's just not LEGENDARY enough for you? Ok, how about this! ALL WHITE SASH Rewards + ALL BROWN SASH Rewards + ALL BLACK SASH Rewards + All future releases + LEGEND Credit in all our games ever + "Honorary Dev" rights (FAQ for details)
Work together with our character art team to lend your likeness to one of the extras in the game (early adopters of this reward tier will be given more prominent roles, maybe even one of the main bad guys if we think your face is evil enough?) + LEGEND Reward
SHOT ON LOCATION: Video call not good enough for you? Well why don't you come over and join us at the studio for a week? That's right, pledging at this level means that we'll invite you over to the studio for a full working week where you'll join the team meetings and have your own desk and workstation to playtest or even work on the game if you want to. Socialise with the team in the evenings, make friends, have fun! We will pick up your acommodation costs, but you'll have to make your own travel arrangments + IMMORTAL Reward + LEGEND Reward
Same as SHOT ON LOCATION only we will ALSO pick up both your accommodation and travel costs.
ALSO the time of your visit will coincide with the game's EXTRAVAGANT launch party to which you will receive a +1 invitation.
ALSO you won't just experience the Kinesthetic Games studio, but we will show you around the various studios of Guildford, the Mecca of games development in the UK, where you'll get to meet and greet with prominent games developers (participating studios TBA).
MOOK YAN JONG: A beautiful, high quality, custom Mook Yan Jong (WOODEN DUMMY) designed according to your needs with an optional 功夫巨星 (Kung Fu Superstar) engraving + Exclusive "Wooden Dummy Forms" In Game Content + IMMORTAL Reward + LEGEND Reward
SIFU: Be one of the first individuals/martial art schools/organisations to join our "Kung Fu Superstar™ Training Partners" programme. We will work together to create training scenarios and other content around your specific style and curriculum needs, with a view to make it available through the game as an officially licensed product. Get in touch for details to ensure you don't miss out on early access to the definitive martial arts gaming platform + IMMORTAL Reward + LEGEND Reward
DIRECTOR: Playing Fight Choreography Sequences is cool and all, but you're actually more interested in *building* them. Well, as a Licensee of our "Fight Choreography Engine" technology, you can! Whether you're a production house looking to previsualise the fight sequences of your action film in a fast and intuitive way or a mod team looking to create the next big machinima hit, our tools will help you unleash your creativity through ultra fast iteration. Pledging at this level won't just ensure you get a lifetime License for the FCE suite of tools, you will also get early tech previews so you can request features, suggest improvements and help shape this innovative and groundbreaking technology. Get in touch for details!