Planet Io Entertainment, who brought players the memory-stretching game Chef Penguino, present Ancient Axes: Heroes on Paper, an action-packed puzzler for solo players and an action-stuffed thrill ride for 2-4 players. Planet Io hopes to bring back the successful couch and arcade co-op from the lost 1980's legends like Gauntlet and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and at the same time inject some unique paper-style art influenced from the likes of the Paper Mario series.
The first concept of Ancient Axes was created in 2008 by a collaboration of game design students from the University of Baltimore and the Image Campus of Argentina. The unique single player idea has been refined and the entire game expanded to include multiplayer.
Our hope for Ancient Axes: Heroes on Paper is that it can be listed among the titles available at launch for the OUYA! Shortly after the game is released on the OUYA, we plan for it to be available for PC, Mac, and Linux gamers. (We expect the delay to only be about 2 weeks. Exact dates will be announced ASAP.)
To make this a reality, we need your help!
Hmmm... this seems familiar. Where have I seen this before?
This is the second time Ancient Axes: Heroes on Paper has appeared on Kickstarter. We had good run, learned a lot, and were even selected as Technically Baltimore's Kickstarter of the Week, but were ultimately unable to meet our goal. So, we've decided to switch gears, cut out all of the unnecessary parts, and just leave the unique gameplay. With this new vision, development time is also cut down, and our aim is to be listed in the history books as an OUYA launch title. (Gaming history books will be written, we're sure of that.) Check out the original here.
So, what's changed?
Firstly, AA: HoP will no longer be a $10 game. Now, gamers will only have to pay $1.99... unless they're backers - for you guys it's only $1.00! Rewards have also changed slightly. We've also cut the the reward tier for getting Ancient Axes swag in half (you don't have to call it swag if you don't want to).
Originally, we thought Ancient Axes: Heroes on Paper would be a collection-type game, where players could collect various hats and weapon designs. We've cut that out. That single feature added a tremendous amount of work to the project, so removing just that feature has made it possible for us to shorten the expected development time. With the exception of Animal Crossing and possibly Team Fortress 2, not many games are based heavily around collecting hats, so we're hoping the gameplay in AA: HoP can speak for itself.
We have also removed the "Endurance" game mode - allowing us to focus all of our energy on making the separate single/multi-player campaigns great. Like the famous writer and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry expertly said, "a designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." We hope to cut all the "fat" out and just leave the good stuff. In return, gamers can expect a much more affordable game, and be able to play it the day the OUYA arrives! (Or shortly thereafter for non-OUYA fans!)
Lastly, the goal is now more than $7,000 lower. (Oh, also: zombies.)
Why is the goal only $130?
Here is our incredibly detailed cost breakdown:
- $119 - 1 Scirra Construct 2 License
- $10 - Approximate Kickstarter & Amazon fees
- $1 - 1 Double Cheeseburger
"But, Mr. Planet Io, won't that mean you might not make any money on this project?" you are surely asking yourself. Yes, that is a possibility, but that is okay, because: the dream is to be a launch title for a system. Since we're a very young company, we probably won't be able to do that for the PS4 or the Xbox 720. The OUYA gives us a chance to launch a game with a system without paying $6 billion in licensing fees (approx. cost)!
AWESOME. I heard pledging to AA:HoP can give backers incredible powers. Is that true?
That is absolutely true. Specifically, they are...
+1 POWER OF NOSTALGIA & CAMARADERIE
Taking inspiration from the classic Gauntlet series, as well as many other multiplayer adventures from the 80's, we've put together a unique 2-4 player quest that will be completely separate from the single player campaign. Each player will receive an infinite amount of throwing axes, swords, arrows, or magic missiles to decimate the enemies on the battlefield (of which there will be many).
Find power-ups to infuse your weapons with fire or ice. Search for keys to open a new way. Ignore the new way to find a secret area.
+2 INTELLIGENCE IN MIND-EXPANDING PUZZLES
While multiplayer will offer a frenzied kill-everything eat-pizza then move on mindset, playing the game single-player style will reward you for taking things a little slower. Controlling two characters at once (each with unique movement), you will need to overcome various lever switching and button pressing puzzles, all the while keeping two characters alive while throngs of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls attempt to gobble them up.
+3 CHARISMA FOR YOUR CHARACTERS
Warriors throwing axes! Knights throwing swords! Archers shooting arrows! Wizards shooting magic missiles!
Each player will be able to select their own hero. Want a team of four wizards? Yep, you can do that. Player 1 is red, player 2 is blue, player 3 is green, and player 4 is purple.
+4 MUSICAL WISDOM
To complete the experience, the game will be equipped with a fitting soundtrack. Musical tracks will be composed by various artists, including eclectic desert rocker Mosno Al-Moseeki, techno-dub rasta-man Rod Gnarley, and that guy who created the music for Chef Penguino (game designer Dan Jorquera).
Did you enjoy the music presented in our Kickstarter video? Download it for free.
+5 FAITH IN OUR PROMISES
What we promise to deliver with Ancient Axes: Heroes on Paper...
We plan to use Steam's Greenlight program to make it onto Steam and add in Steam achievements. In-game achievements will be available to all systems regardless.
+6 LUCK... OH, IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT REWARDS!
Here's an easy-to-read breakdown showing what you can get for supporting the development of Ancient Axes: Heroes on Paper:
Forum Access. Once the Kickstarter is completed, private forums will be available to all backers!
The Full Game. Pledge only $1 or more to get the entire game for a system of your choice!
Soundtrack. Pledge $2 or more to grab a digital download of the Ancient Axes: Heroes on Paper soundtrack!
The Full Game for All Systems. Pledge $5 or more to grab the game for the OUYA, PC, Mac, and Linux. If you don't need them all for yourself, give them to your friends! The number of each can be whatever you want... do you need 4 OUYA copies to complete your OUYA basement arcade? Do you have Windows but your 3 best buds run Linux? We'll send a survey out at the completion of the Kickstarter asking which systems you'd like the game for.
T-Shirts and Stickers. Pledge $30 or more to grab a one-of-a-kind T-shirt so you can take the Ancient Axes heroes with you wherever you go. Available in hunter green for dudes or violet for girl gamers.
In addition, you will receive a sticker pack that will have those famous Heroes on Paper placed on a clear background, ready to be assigned to any post that might require a brave adventurer.
WHAT!? YOU'RE AWESOME. To reward your awesomeness for funding this project in one fell swoop, your name will be featured in the game's credits as well as on our website.
+7 STRENGTH FROM OUR STRETCH GOALS
What could be in those treasure chests? We won't know until we meet out initial goal!
UPDATE: AAAAHHH We've met our first stretch goal! Let's see what's in those treasure chests!
$150 Stretch Goal: UNLOCKED: Text-based menus are BORING. Instead, launching Ancient Axes will reveal your very own home. From here, you can walk around, select your character, get some friends to join in, and choose which game type you are going to play. Walk outside the house to choose which level to play.
$300 Stretch Goal: Mini-games! Challenge your friends to see who can hit the most targets in the time limit or jump into a go-kart and race around a race track (yep, really). Unlock more mini-games by playing through the campaigns!
$500 Stretch Goal: Gameplay settings! Unlock "cheats" by playing through the game - want to run through the game while invincible? How about with only 1 health point? You move twice as fast? Your enemies move twice as fast? Let's unlock this option for more ways to play the game.
$1000 Stretch Goal: Pets! Want a friendly slime monster to keep you company in your new menu-house? Would that dungeon be less terrifying if you had a pet bat to follow you around? Unlock this stretch goal to find plenty of furry, slimy, or scaly creatures, just waiting to befriend you. (Some are more manly looking than others.)
Watch out for ink monsters!
How can I help make this game a reality?
Risks and challenges
Completing the game before the OUYA release date will of course be a challenge, but we are certain we can overcome it. Some challenges are more difficult to predict - what will OUYA specific functions look like? Will we be accepted on Steam Greenlight? What issues might arise on Linux, Mac, or different Windows operating systems?
Quality is extremely important to us, but the public beta testing phase has been removed. Finding bugs and fixing bugs is often a hectic, nerve-racking process. Removing the custom hats & weapons options from the game has, fortunately, made the time needed for bug hunting much shorter.
We plan to constantly monitor the title when it is released; making any necessary changes as quickly as possible. Hopefully it will not have to come to that, but we are planning to pay attention anyway - we will watch the game closely and listen to feedback!
If you decide to pledge, we thank you for supporting indie game development, believing that there's still a place in the market for action-packed couch co-op games and unique puzzlers, and most of all, for putting your faith in us and our dream.
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