Metroidvania with deep weapon customization, tight Mega Man-inspired action, and beautiful pixel art, set in a post-steampunk world.
Metroidvania with deep weapon customization, tight Mega Man-inspired action, and beautiful pixel art, set in a post-steampunk world.
Ambrosia is a side-scrolling platformer with a deep customization system, a large world with many secrets to uncover, and an emphasis on frenetic yet strategic combat. It is structured much like a classic Metroidvania, with action and tight controls that fans of series like Mega Man might be accustomed to.
The game will be releasing on PC, with consequent ports for PS4 and PSVita. (Keep watch for additional port updates!)
The story centers around Aspida, a recently-settled island with whispers of intrigue and opportunity. A “technological boom” occurred when pioneers unearthed an unknown, buried civilization. Amidst these ruins were highly advanced robotics, which were promptly excavated, studied, and adapted. Aspida quickly began thriving with inventions, strange new technology, and automatons. What was once a humble mining town transformed practically overnight into a towering, mechanical marvel of city, rising high above the island.
But something happened. One day, Aspida went silent. The island itself vanished. And those who tried to find it, themselves, never returned.
That is of course until now.
You play as Iris, a scrappy inventor in search for a friend who disappeared with Aspida. Through her thorough efforts, she has re-discovered the lost island. Now it’s time to find her friend, and get to the bottom of the mystery, “what happened to Aspida?”
Unsurprisingly for a video game, what awaits Iris isn’t exactly a warm reception.
Yes it is! Thanks, Header!
The journey to unlock Aspida’s secrets will take Iris through the island’s many environments, as she contends with unexpected threats and confounding obstacles. From its natural forests and its tall mountains, to the suspiciously lifeless (or are they?) city streets and factories of Aspida, to its ominous hidden depths and ancient ruins, there’s lots of ground to cover on Aspida! Ten distinct locales form Ambrosia’s large and contiguous game world, with each of these regions connected and weaved into each other.
A favorite video game pastime of ours is that feeling you get when you enter a new stage or level — when suddenly the music changes, the environmental art shifts, and you go “oh sweet, a new area! I wonder what I’ll find here?!” When a game does it right, it feels rewarding, while stirring up feelings of wonder and anticipation. To continually get this effect — to truly make good on the promise of a new area — it’s not enough for the areas to simply look different from each other, they need to “feel” different too, their rooms populated by unique enemies, their layouts guided by unique rules, and their challenges not just progressively harder, but also wholly different from what came before. This is a sensibility and goal we keep close to our heart as we craft the world of Ambrosia, and quite frankly, we like how it’s shaping out! We hope you do too!
The real meat of Ambrosia, however, is our weapon customization system. As Iris explores the island, she will outfit herself with an array of weapons, from the experimental pulse breaker to traditional rifles and revolvers. But it goes beyond salvaging armaments. Ever the inventor, Iris is able to tinker and fiddle with her weapons using schematics found throughout the island to add additional powers and abilities, unlocking an alarming amount of potential in every item she runs across! Let’s talk about that!
It’s tricky coming up with the best way to explain the depth of our weapon customization system. So many other games try to sell a simple concept using exciting language. On top of that, what we're doing hasn't really been seen before. “Rules-Based Customization” seems the most apt term we’ve come up with, as you are essentially building your weapon by combining rules together. This idea extends to the very core of what a weapon is — each one is itself composed of various rules that can be leveraged.
For example, a normal game might have an upgrade that gives a missile launcher some extra ammunition. But in Ambrosia, missile launcher ammunition is tied to barrel count, so a similar upgrade might instead add "a row of barrels." In a single barrel setup this would give you one extra barrel, which means one extra round of ammunition. But in a missile launcher setup that had a 2x2 barrel arrangement, an extra row of barrels would mean two barrels instead of just one, increasing ammunition count even further. But say you add a mod to this that allows you to fire a column of barrels simultaneously, you would now fire three missiles thanks to your new 3x2 arrangement! Using rules, customizing weapons feels very interactive, and we feel it sets us apart from other games’ systems!
Worth mentioning, we think, is that our game world is filled with weapons and mods to discover around every corner. There are no repeated, cumulative [Missiles +5] or [¼ Life Shard] items strewn about everywhere to fill space — no, each secret is something with a wholly new property or effect to bring to the table, meaning each time you find a treasure is more than just the satisfaction of uncovering a secret, but also a meaningful new addition to your strategic options! And yes! There’s a lot of mods!
Realmsoft is a budding new company, and Ambrosia is our inaugural professional foray into the video game field. The company was founded by DigiPen graduate Nathan Hiemenz, who is lead designer and engineer on the project. He is joined by fellow DigiPen friend-pal Michael Betts, who lends his production skills to Ambrosia as writer, producer, and overall project manager. And then there’s Ian Clark, who’s writing this sentence. He does absolutely everything of importance on the project and is the best. (But also does world and object design.)
Together, we’re a bunch of dang nerds who love video games and spent our well-adjusted youths creating our own stuff in level editors, worked our way up to various game makers and Actual Programming, and now here we are with an original engine and powerful creation tools of our own authorship. (Okay, Nate built the tools.) Simply put, we’ve always wanted to make games, and by our powers combined, we have the technical prowess and design chops to get it done, and get it done right. We’ve got systems and stories we’re just dying to set free unto the world, and one way or another, they will be!
Rounding out the Ambrosia crew are our brilliant freelance artists, Lachlan and Maciej, providing the tilesets and the sprites you’re seeing all over this page, respectively. (My god, these beautiful pixels. I want to hug them forever.)
We’ve also got the recent pleasure of bringing a talented musician on board. Jonny Stixx, of Stixx Media & Third Wheel Project, has signed on to provide the soundtrack for Ambrosia. The score for the trailer is thanks to him, and we hope you’re as excited as we are to hear the rest of his work in the game!
Ambrosia has been in development since 2014 as a small passion project of Nathan’s. In 2016, Michael and Ian were brought on board to help make it a Real Thing, and the game has grown leaps and bounds. We are now paying one of us to work on the game full-time, we're well past preproduction, and in fact we're dangerously close to being feature complete! We can now see the finish line and are ready to bring this work of love to the world!
We are looking to raise money primarily to fund the remainder of asset creation. We’ve shown a lot of environments and creatures in our screenshots and videos, but there’s still a lot of holes that need to be filled, primarily in terms of Music, Backgrounds, and Animations. Ambrosia's unique look and art style is a key part of the experience — a crucial element that really brings the gameplay to life — so the ability to pay our artists and musician to work for us will be critical to complete the game. Without quick, rapid funding, we are always in danger of losing access to our freelancers as other projects come up for them.
As it stands, we will likely have to cut back on our scope in order to ship the game, but with funds we will be able to see our full vision of Ambrosia through to fruition!
Additionally, we would like to port the game from PC to console platforms. And that will come with its own costs and challenges. The funding from this campaign will assure PS4 and PSVita releases, and give us the ability to work towards other ports, such as Switch! (Please continue to let us know what you would like to see Ambrosia on!)
What Kickstarter wouldn’t be complete without a set of reward tiers? Let’s rap a bit about the items! The tiers are summarized on the right-hand side of the screen (if you scroll up), but read on here for additional details and context on the individual items. As a reminder, every tier bracket includes every reward item from the previous tiers!
Ambrosia: Digital Copy
This is the game, my friends! The actual, honest-to-goodness final product! Pledge $15 or more and you’re guaranteed a digital copy of Ambrosia upon release!
On conclusion of the Kickstarter, you will be sent a poll asking which version of the game you would like to receive. Our current confirmed releases are PC, PS4, an PSVita. (The latter two will be bundled together as a single option, as we plan to sell them Cross Buy after release.)
Ambrosia: Digital Soundtrack
Backers at the $35 level or higher will also get the soundtrack to Ambrosia. Do you like tunes? I like tunes. And Jonny's makin' us a heck of a score.
World Map Composite
Available at the $35 level, the World Map Composite will be an enormous image that shows every single stage in the game. I'm not talkin' "here's a giant minimap" here, it's every in-game screen stitched together! Fun bonus for fans of maps.
Note: this item may not be available simultaneously with the launch of the game. (But probably will.)
Exactly what it sounds like! At the $50 level, you'll be be able to access the Beta build of Ambrosia when the time comes (date TBD). Help us try to break the game as we wrap up production!
Alternate Player Costume
If anyone believes in this game hard enough to give us $75 of their hard-earned money, we figure the least we can do is give 'em some in-game goodie. We're going to make an alternate sprite sheet for Iris that's available to backers at this tier, to be freely swapped in-game! We've got some ideas in mind, though as this is for the fans, we'd love to hear what you want to see!
Another bonus for the $75 tier. Look, we love Maciej's art and we want more excuses to display and fondly regard it. So we figure it'd be cool to make a kind of digital instruction booklet that journals pictures (animated, even!!) of each enemy in the game, along with their names and additional info about them. Personally we love this kind of thing!
Note: this item may not be available simultaneously with the launch of the game. Priorities, and all that!
All Digital Extras
Just to clarify what "All Digital Extras" means, it's the catch-all for the Soundtrack, the World Map Composite, the Alternate Player Costume, and the Digital Bestiary. Tiers with this term listed are still getting all of those items — just thought it'd be nice to consolidate!
Limited Edition Figurine
"Limited Edition Figurine" is Realmsoft-speak for "A-Cool-Thing-That-We-Want-An-Excuse-To-Get-Made." But I mean, who doesn't like a classy video game figurine? At the $200 level, we'll ship you a wonderful plastic model of one of Ambrosia's in-game creatures, recreated in glorious for-real 3-D! We're thinking one of these two darlings here:
Got one you'd like to see? Let us know! It's still early in our planning for this item, so input could go a long way.
Note: item not guaranteed to be available simultaneously with the launch of the game. We've got the means to get this item made, but physical goodies still take awhile!
Commissioned Secret Room, AKA "Create a Secret Room!"
And here we are at the $500 tier! Let's be real here, we know we're a small, untested new design team, so we really would be (pleasantly) surprised if people threw this kind of money at us... but, bless you, if you do, we'd like to show our appreciation by immortalizing you in the game somehow or another!
So our idea here is, we'll create a hidden room in your honor that can be found in-game. To add an extra bit of fun and a personal touch, we'd like to get in contact with you and create the room based on your whims and specifications. Does the room contain a helpful message of encouragement? Or a series of mysterious, inane scrawls? A tricky combat challenge? A surprise save point? A lost mushroom man? It's up to you! Or you can just leave it to us to do whatever!
Either way, we'll send you instructions on where/how to access the room, and you'll be free to use this information as you will! Tell everyone, play coy, safeguard it carefully as lorekeeper — only sharing it with your eldest child when the time comes for them to take up the mantle. Really, it's your call. Man, this section is just dripping with choice, huh?!
Note: room content will ultimately still be subject to designer approval, so it can't be too outrageous... or can it? Try us!
Google Hangout with Realmsoft, AKA "Invitation to Design Meeting"
In addition to everything else, at $1,000 we will cordially invite you to an online meeting with us (via Google Hangouts ... or Skype or some such. You know what, we're flexible). Because gosh, we'd like to meet the fan who's so outrageously generous! We're calling it a design meeting, but the agenda is really open to suggestion! Talk shop with us, talk nonsense with us, just generally pick our brains, hey, we're social and we'd like to chat! Or we can talk the important Ambrosia matters of the day, and you can nod along politely, mix it the heck up and hash the game out with us, or just rip into why we're wrong about everything, and it'll be good fun! Hey, your input could end up being super valuable!
Note: we definitely can't promise to take your advice! But we can promise to listen!
Note Two: the idea is that this occasion would take place at an indeterminate time during development. We would get in touch with you and figure out what works best for everyone's schedules!
Commissioned Enemy, AKA "Create an Enemy!"
We're shy about rewards that could significantly impact development flow, but for $2,000 we figure we can afford to create a monument to your generosity! Collaborate with us on a new enemy design, and we'll put it in the game to be encountered and battled by the players! As this would be a more involved process, we would invite you to a meeting with us so that we can discuss the nature of the enemy live! You can be as specific or as vague as you like — if all you want is a certain visual design, we can figure out the rest. Or the exact opposite, if you've got a mechanical idea but no idea how it should look. But if you have the whole thing mapped out to the finest deal, that's fantastic too! We'll work with you and do our very best to adapt your creation to Ambrosia!
Note: content, and the implementation of content, will ultimately be subject to designer approval. That said, bring on your ideas! We wanna make 'em work!
Meetup with Realmsoft, AKA "Dinner with Realmsoft"
It's unbelievable to imagine a pledge of $5,000, but if it does happen, then holey moley, how can we say thank you enough? We'll start with dinner, I guess! Us Realmsoftfolk would love to meet you in person and hang out for awhile! Maybe play some games, or go bowling, or check out a modern art exhibit! That's basically the social trifecta, as I understand it! Or if you prefer, we could just sit around you in a circle and lavish you with praise and gratitude for a few hours. We're not above it.*
This occasion would take place in the vicinity of one of the Realmsoft "offices" (I'll call them offices), or near an industry event such as E3 or PAX. We'll figure it out! It'll be a grand ol' time full of merriment, cheer, and you get to see how super nerdy video game designers act in the wild — and we get to regularly lavish you with praise and gratitude!
Note: travel and lodging expenses not included.
*Nate might be above it.
Hey, thanks for checking out our Kickstarter! We really appreciate it! You can keep in touch with our development progress at https://www.flyambrosia.com
You can also keep tabs on us through our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts. And believe it or not, we've also got an email address! Isn't technology amazing? We think so!
Backer or no, we're glad you stopped by! We wish you a great and fantastic day!
Risks and challenges
Video game development is always a challenge, and half the team is only able to work on the game around a day job. A 2018 release date is the goal, and though we consider ourselves industry savvy and conscientious of what lies ahead, we know to expect the unexpected. We're a small, untested team after all, and this is our first time shipping a commercial video game. A huge factor in our favor is that we've approached development with long-term sustainability in mind. If catastrophe strikes and we blow through our funding, we have the plan and means to continue development at a steady albeit decelerated pace.
We have created powerful, in-house tools in our level and sprite editors, and that allows us to quickly iterate. Even working half-time, we are able to quickly build content. Ambrosia is close enough to the finish line that it being cancelled is out of the question. The greatest risk is that we lose one of our freelancers and would need to scramble to replace them, which could take time, but our funding would put us in a good position to handle that hurdle.
Regardless of delays, we will keep an open line of communication to our backers. We want to make our players as happy as we can, and we know that the best relationship you can have is one based on honesty.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)