A Credible Tale of Yokai, Robots, and the Lunar Tourist
A Credible Tale of Yokai, Robots, and the Lunar Tourist
Build and defend a village in a Japanese folklore-inspired world. This modern homage to SNES classics even helps you study Japanese!
Build and defend a village in a Japanese folklore-inspired world. This modern homage to SNES classics even helps you study Japanese! Read more
About this project
What is A Credible Tale of Yokai, Robots, and the Lunar Tourist?
Are you a fan of SNES JRPGs? If so, A Credible Tale is made for you:
- Explore a hand-drawn 3D world set in classic Japan
- Build and defend a village from supernatural invaders in battles that require careful planning and perfect execution
- Defeat hordes of yokai in real-time combat (like in Secret of Mana and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past)
- Explore endless synergistic possibilities by customizing the skills and weapons for more than three distinct player characters
- BONUS: Immerse yourself in Japanese folklore -- and learn a bit of Japanese along the way!
Play the pre-alpha demo today!
Long, long ago humans and spirits lived together peacefully. There was no famine, no war, and no disease. The people of that time lived simple, happy lives. But over time, greed and corruption overtook them. They began fighting over wealth and power, and abused the resources of the Mountains, Earth, and Sea for their own selfish gains. Conflicts began to form between the kami (spirits) who protected nature and the human warlords who sought to exploit it. Many lives were lost, and eventually the kami disappeared.
A lot has changed since that time. People now live in fear, never daring to venture past village walls after dusk for fear of attacks by evil yokai (supernatural beings). But even within the depths of fear, a glimmer of hope remains. Legend foretells the coming of a golden-haired hero clad in a blue kimono who will descend from the sky to guide people toward the path of balance -- and restore peace. . . .
In A Credible Tale, you build and explore during the day and defend your village at night. Yokai invade your town when the sun goes down, so you will need to set traps, build defensive towers, and rely on your own combat skills to fend off the enemies. Each type of yokai is unique, with specific objects and resources they are either (a) attracted to or (b) repelled by. You can use this to force them to take certain paths in order to defeat them. Some types of yokai will only show up if you have what they like, so you will need to carefully consider the risk of stockpiling unused resources.
Once you're out in the wild in A Credible Tale, you will find precious materials for building and crafting -- as well as hidden treasures, boss lairs, and more! Explore carefully though; you can only carry a limited amount of supplies. You will not be able to adventure indefinitely; you'll need to make it back before dark to defend the village. In addition to the treasures waiting to be found, the wilderness is also home to many crafty yokai who may disguise themselves to trick you!
Build towers and traps using a flexible interface that allows you to make your own designs from parts. Each part will be individually subject to in-game physics -- which means that when buildings are inevitably destroyed, the collapsing parts themselves can damage enemies! Your design choices will determine the functional use of a building, its resilience to damage, and how it will behave when it collapses... or explodes!
Enhancing your village infrastructure will empower your heroes and attract new villagers. This is how you "level up" in the game. Especially skilled villagers can craft a wide variety of items with which to equip your heroes, in addition to parts you can use for your structures.
Combat is heavily inspired by Secret of Mana, with several unique weapon types and unarmed combat styles that each feature their own set of powerful charge attacks. For further customization, each hero will be equipped with weapons, armor, and accessories in addition to selecting an active and a passive skill. Certain skills will be acquired as you progress through the story or equip certain items. Your choices will create numerous unique builds with different combat styles.
You won't be fighting alone, though. Up to three heroes may be in your party at once -- controlled by the A.I. or by your friends through local multiplayer. With the wide variety of builds available for each hero, there will be tons of synergies just waiting to be discovered. Specific combinations of heroes with certain skills and charge attacks can unlock massively powerful, secret special combo attacks!
We love Japan, and we want other people to love it too. Accordingly, we've included elements from tons of classic stories like Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (竹取物語) , Peach Boy (桃太郎) , and many others throughout the game. But we want to do more than just share stories, we want to help our players develop skills and knowledge that will eventually empower them to experience Japan the way each of us has experienced it.
We're not Japanese language teachers, but we've spent much of our lives as Japanese language students. We don't intend this game to be a substitute for a legitimate language classroom, and we also understand that studying Japanese is not something everyone who plays this game will want to do. With these considerations in mind, we've created two optional systems to help you study Japanese language while you play:
- Japanese dialogue with in-game translation and furigana to help you read complex Kanji characters. We want you to be able to practice your Japanese by playing the game in Japanese without slowing down your gameplay too much.
- "Study Grinding" will give you flash cards to answer while you are collecting resources. Set your proficiency level in the options and then receive extra resources for correctly answering vocabulary questions based on the JLPT (a test many Japanese language students take for certification).
We hope you brought your nostalgia hat -- because in order to talk about our inspiration we'll need to do some reminiscing. The year is 1996, it's a kid's 11th birthday -- and as a gift, he receives Secret of Mana and an SNES multitap that allows him and two friends to play the game all together. After 48 sleepless hours, the kid and his two friends all fall asleep together at his friend's dinner table. Miles away, another kid sets his alarm to wake up at 4 am so he can play more Legend of Zelda before school without his parents finding out. When he hears them stirring, he quickly races back into bed to pretend he's asleep. Elsewhere, a third kid holds back tears while Chrono is reunited with his party in Chrono Trigger. It was moments like these that taught us about the true power of games. We've taken our favorite features from some of these classics, updated them, and created something new and exciting for you to enjoy. Let's make some new memories together!
Here are a couple of personal stories from our team that have contributed toward our inspiration.
A Credible Tale is not just about just reliving our childhoods though -- we're also very excited to share yokai with the world! There are so many fascinating stories in Japanese folklore that describe some of the most interesting and unique creatures you can imagine. For example, legends say that upon reaching one hundred years of age the kitsune (Japanese fox) gains powerful magic and the ability to shapeshift into other forms. Stories about kitsune taking the form of humans or other yokai for mischievous purposes abound. Other tales are more sinister, such as those describing the cold and dangerous fury of the yuki-onna -- a beautiful pale woman who appears during snowstorms and freezes unfortunate victims. There are literally hundreds of different yokai described in folktales from all around Japan!
One fateful night, Hiro is sleeping soundly when he is awoken by a mysterious voice in his head telling him to get up and go find a child in the woods. Upon arriving at the specified location, he finds the child inside a strange pod and takes her back to the village. But trouble follows the child -- and soon Hiro finds himself in the middle of a conflict between humans, gods, supernatural yokai, and ancient astronauts as part of a struggle that will determine the fate of the universe.
Why is there a girl from the Moon here? Who is leading the yokai, and what is their motive? Why is there a hovering robot dad following Hiro around? As you progress through A Credible Tale, you will learn answers to all of these questions and many more.
The enemies you will face in A Credible Tale are all borrowed from traditional Japanese mythology and are collectively called "yokai", which roughly translates to "supernatural being". Each yokai has its own unique AI that will control how it behaves based on specific things it likes and dislikes, which will influence how likely it is to show up in your village and how it will behave once it gets there. For example, the Kappa loves to eat cucumbers but loses its power if the small pool of water on its head is spilled. If you plant cucumbers you are much more likely to see them during invasions, and when they do come you can take advantage of their weakness by setting traps that knock them down, spilling the water and leaving them powerless.
Here is a small sample of the yokai you are likely to encounter in A Credible Tale:
The music in A Credible Tale is based on combining traditional Japanese instruments with modern composition techniques to produce something that is true to the traditional art but also fun and emotionally engaging.
We were especially lucky to find Sam Jones to help us make the music. Sam's background in traditional Japanese music and his connections to musicians who actually play traditional instruments gave us a unique opportunity to get very authentic sounds that bring the world to life and place the player right in the middle of it.
Check out this battle music sample below, which features traditional Shamisen, Taiko drums, and a Shakuhachi flute!
Here is a sample of our fanfare music, also featuring the Shamisen and Shakuhachi.
After two years of development (using all of our free time!), we have a pre-alpha build that features a rough version of most of the core mechanics. Our plan is to spend the rest of 2015 finishing the remaining systems and doing a few rounds of internal testing to get rid of nasty bad bugs and further polish every facet of the game.
In the beginning of 2016, we plan to make our alpha build available to Alpha access backers. The alpha version of the game will include all of the functionality, but it will be limited in content to the first chapter. We will use the feedback we get from the alpha to refine the core game features and overall experience. After about six months of alpha testing, we will release a beta version to backers in the beta access tier.
We are considering Steam Early Access. If we go that route, the Early Access will start at the same time as the beta -- and Steam keys will be offered to all beta testers. The beta will include a lot of additional content and will complete the main story. The plan is to spend about six months in beta testing -- focusing primarily on balancing character builds, enemy power levels, items, and defensive structures. After finishing the beta, we will launch the full game around Q4 2016.
The reason we decided to take this project to Kickstarter is simple: Making a game is expensive! We've poured our hearts and passion into this game, and we want to make it a reality. We will need your help to make A Credible Tale the best game it can be. This is where the stretch goals come into play. If you like what we're doing, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and tell your friends about the game! We want to earn your support, and we'll do everything we can to deliver and exciting, fresh adventure to all of our Kickstarter backers.
We are a small team of indie developers that share the dream of making the games we want to play and releasing them into an unsuspecting world. We're particularly interested in creating games that blur the lines between reality and fantasy -- enabling players to take some real-world value out of their gaming.
Check out Sam's other projects here:
Two years in, we've built A Credible Tale up to about 35% completion. We are financing this game ourselves -- but with your help, we want to speed up development, complete work on the game, and release it in a shorter timetable.
Here is a breakdown of the budget:
We want to approach stretch goals a bit differently. Unlocking stretch goals won't just be based on reaching high levels of over-funding. We need your help to get the word out about what we are doing, so we've created a series of “Community Quests” for our backers to fulfill. These quests will help promote A Credible Tale, which will help us gain more funding to make the game bigger and better. Also be aware that in addition to the quests listed here, there are a few secret bonus community quests that will only be revealed after a specific set of the listed community quests are marked as "done".
Risks and challenges
There are three major risks in game development that need to be addressed: completion, timeline, and design integrity. I will outline each of these risks below and provide detailed information about our strategy for minimizing these risks and producing the game we know A Credible Tale has the potential to be.
Completion: Completing an indie game is a real challenge. Many indie development teams encounter problems and fail due to poor budget planning. Fortunately for us, we collectively have over 20 years of industry experience shipping software products, and we've done thorough research into the costs associated with producing a game of this scale and planned accordingly. We also have day jobs that we intend to keep unless we reach drastic levels of over-funding, so none of what we raise will go to keeping the lights on or putting coffee on the desk -- we've got that covered.
Timeline: We've chosen tried and true technologies such as Unity engine to help us work as efficiently as possible. We have also done our homework to ensure that we understand exactly how we can utilize our funding to speed up production without compromising on quality or design integrity. Our timeline includes maintenance after the game is released, so rest assured this is not a project we are going to abandon whenever we feel like putting a sticker on it that says "complete". We will support this game and its community for as long as people want to play it. Regardless of what funding level we reach though, we want to be clear that the timeline we have provided is our best estimate of how quickly we can complete the game and it is subject to change. Even with as much experience as we have shipping software, there are simply too many variables to consider that can affect our production schedule. But we don't intend to leave our backers waiting with nothing in hand for long. We will be actively engaging the community with updates and playable alpha and beta builds as soon as possible - currently projected to begin early 2016.
Design Integrity: When deadlines and budgets get tough, some developers have been known to compromise on their game's features in order to get something out the door. Our extensive planning in the budgeting and timeline aspects of this project will help mitigate this, but even if push comes to shove you can be 100% confident that our final game will have everything this Kickstarter campaign promises. That does not mean that the way some of these features are implemented won't change, though. We will take feedback from our demo and Beta and use it to shape the final form of the game.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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