Project Ravensdale (Canceled)
We are back with an outrageous run&gun platformer with stunning visuals and ridiculous humor for 1 - 4 players in local or online play!
“This will be Black Forest Games' second title seeking Kickstarter funding – but, unlike some bigger studios – it's actually completed and shipped its first crowdfund project[…]” Alexander Sliwinski, Joystiq
"Basically, we get both orcs and men with rocket boots. Every Videogame Ever, consider the bar raised." - Nathan Grayson, Rockpapershotgun
"Wholly freakin’ crap that’s incredible!” I know, right?” Jeremy Reich, ZoKnowsGaming.com
“I’m impressed. It really looks like something I would play with my daughter.” Christian Svensson (SVP Capcom)
We are back to Kickstarter, because we believe in the power of crowdfunding. We succeeded with our previous campaign, we met our goal and we delivered on our promises, releasing Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams to multiple platforms before we set our sights on a new project.
This time we are set on creating a new game from the ground up, completely from scratch. New ideas, new concept, from beginning to end, no holds barred.
That's why we are here. Creating a game this way is risky, it might get dirty, but we really wouldn’t have it any another way! Kickstarter puts all the creative power in our hands and we don't want to waste this gift of freedom in order to play it safe. We will be looking for possible distribution deals in the future to further support the project, but the creative control will remain with us.
Ravensdale is based on classic arcade shooters like Contra and Metal Slug, but focuses heavily on co-op interactions between players. For example, while you rapidly pull yourself towards and past your buddies, they block projectiles heading your way and feed an overdrive mode to boost the entire team! We’re also pushing for strong interactivity between player characters, enemies and the levels to provide a wider range of tactical options to both solo players and assault teams.
Positioning is important in Ravensdale, and situations keep shifting depending on enemy spawns and attacks, your weapon loadout, what you kill or destroy and when, moving parts of the level and what your buddies are doing, should you have some at your side.
Smooth balance between single player and co-op
While Ravensdale is going to make co-operative play as rewarding as possible, single-player is not a stripped-down co-op mode – co-op builds on single player and expands it. For example, an enemy bearing a heavy shield can be brute-forced by shooting or slamming the shield until it breaks, outmaneuvered and attacked from the back, reduced to a fine paste by hazards, or the shield can be simply ignored by using a piercing weapon that hits all enemies in its path. Co-op offers you the additional option of sandwiching the enemy, assuring that one player always hits its unshielded side.
Ravensdale will be stuffed to the gills with different strategies and tactics to discover, and they will all be dependent on the context. To take the example above, you may not always want to sandwich a shielded enemy. At a given moment, the other player could be more valuable manning a turret to stop an onrushing horde or catching and detonating shrapnel bombs rebounding all over the place.
Example feature: the Arc Connector
A feature we are currently experimenting with in the prototype is a little something we call the Arc Connector. The Arc Connector consists of an indestructible hovering generator that feeds your suit of armor with lightning. If you have teammates, they share the Arc Connector with you, and it adapts to the entire group’s movement. The Arc Connector offers the following range of interactions:
1. You can pull yourself towards the generator at breakneck speed, hurtling past it like on a giant rubber band, smashing and grabbing all enemies and objects on your path. In multiplayer, you have more control over the positioning of the generator and can set up some advanced tactics.
2. You can also use a softer pull to use the lightning arc like a rope to dangle and swing over precipices, or change the direction of your jumps and dashes. In multiplayer, you can use this to quickly pull yourself to another player’s location or “piggyback” his movement.
3. You can block and capture enemy bullets with the arc and convert them to energy that feeds the generator. While this happens, the lightning arc damages and stuns all enemies it hits. In multiplayer, you can block shots that would hit your buddies, and you can coordinate your movement to zap enemies more efficiently.
4. You can use your share of the accumulated energy to fuel an overdrive that greatly boosts your weapon. In addition, this causes a feedback that shares your weapon’s main characteristic with your teammates, for example granting them the incendiary or piercing ability.
Please note that the gameplay is still in the prototyping stage and won’t exactly match the moves you see in the video’s mockups. Those exist to get an idea of the look and feel and have been developed in parallel. We’ll keep the best elements from gameplay and visuals, and build on those.
RAVENSDALE WILL LAUNCH ON PC. While we do consider other platforms, releasing the game is top priority and any other platforms will be considered after that goal has been met.
It's thanks to people like you that we were able to make Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams. It's thanks to the community that we could focus all our attention and creativity on that project, without influence from publishers or investors. This is what makes Kickstarter such a great place in our opinion.
We want to do it again because we believe that, in the end, we work for YOU. Kickstarter has shown us a much closer contact to the people who play our games than the traditional model. We don’t want to water down our vision because of constraints like mainstream market appeal. We want to make a game YOU are enthusiastic about, and there is no better way than crowdfunding to do that. Every cent we earn in this campaign will be put to the project and nothing else until we release the game to the public and beyond.
Of course, we want to do more. The basic game is outlined above, but there is so much more we could do with it! However at this point in time, we want to focus all our attention on the main game and to make it as awesome as possible.
As soon as it becomes clear that there will be significant additional funding, we will share details about the additional goals for the game. The design for the game allows for a modular approach to expanding the game, so once we reach that bridge, we will share further details with you!
The Voice of Ravensdale, Mark Meer!
The Music of Ravensdale, In Extremo!
Medieval Metal band In Extremo is joining us for this project! You can check out their webpage by clicking on any of the images above and be sure to go to Facebook and YouTube if you haven't already.
Teaming up with In Extremo for this project is a dream come true for us! Stay tuned for more information!
The Story of Ravensdale, Lisa Smedman!
Lisa Smedman is a Vancouver-born author who has agreed to collaborate with us on Ravensdale! She will write several short-stories and also advise on the world and lore of Ravensdale throughout the production. We are very fortunate to have her on the team!
So, we promised we would make you part of the development of the game and we intend to do that to the fullest amount possible.
Pledging for our game will give you voting rights (starting at the Scouting Pack). These voting rights will get important throughout the production process. After the campaign closes, we will have several design decisions that need to be made and these, we will put up for vote. The way this works, is that we will announce certain feature/content related design choices (we will have the details worked out and present them to you before) and this will be put to a vote by the community.
This can range from level elements to enemy types to missions. In this way, we will enable our community to decide which way to go at certain points in production.
Some of our Rewards! More to come!
Risks and challenges
The risks with Ravensdale are typical risks related to game development.
We are aiming at a release in the second quarter of 2014. This is the result of a strict calculation of all efforts needed based on 20 years of experience in game development. This calculation includes buffers for any unforeseen but, to be honest, inevitable challenges during development, like management not being able to stop developers polishing or adding more and more content (the infamous ‘just one more’). It’s always challenging to estimate the prototyping time required to find the perfect gameplay or the testing you need to get the ideal balancing. With these buffers and based on the previous performance of our team we are confident on delivering in time if we keep the original planned budget. We’ve always been known for meeting crazy deadlines.
If we will get higher funding than planned through Kickstarter or caused by Kickstarter we will put more resources on the project but we will keep the planned release date.
This is our first multiplayer platformer. The game code has to be built with the network requirements in mind (e.g. bandwith, ping requirements). Also the lobbies are something to be handled. Steamworks is offering good solutions here. With the Giana tech we have a solid base to build on and our dedicated tech and tools team is ready for this challenge.
We give you as much insight as possible on what we want to do, how it will look and where we are right now. The final game will be at at least at the quality level you can see in the mockups, and we will likely top that. Take a look at the material we provided already. If you like it, you will love the finished game. Therefore: Please make it happen! It’s now in your hands.
- (32 days)