**FUNDED IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS!**
SKALD: Against the Black Priory is a classic, turn-based RPG. It's set in a dark and gritty fantasy universe: full of tragic heroes, violent deaths and eldritch, Lovecraftian horror.
With a dark, immersive plot and inspired by legendary titles such as Ultima and the gold box series, this is my love letter to classic roleplaying.
The project was an instant hit, reaching 100% funding within 24 hours! Now is the time to help make SKALD: Against the Black Priory reach its fullest potential as an epic tale of dark fantasy chock full of amazing 8-bit art and music!
UPDATE: The game will now release for Windows AND Mac and backers may choose either version. The DEMO and BETA will only release on PC for now!
SKALD: Against the Black Priory is a tile and turn based roleplaying game where you lead a party of up to six characters on an epic and perilous quest.
SKALD ships with an optional, retro-style, CRT screen filter!
The game features:
- Vintage graphics using the glorious Commodore 64 color palette
- Complex level-based character development with abilities, skills and features
- Grindless tactical combat
- "Choose-your-own-adventure" system and dynamic, tree based dialog.
As a party based RPG, SKALD puts heavy emphasis on both roleplaying- and mechanical interaction between party members.
The current leader of the party can be swapped by the push of a button and the skills and abilities of the current leader will influence interactions with the game world. But be warned: Managing the party can be challenging with members having private agendas and motivations.
Combat in SKALD is turn- and menu-based. This leads to fast and grind-less combat (that can be automated). The design emphasis is on having interactions between abilities, tactics and situational circumstances create unique and challenging combat every time.
The game will feature a rich and highly interactive world with both scripted and systemic ways of interacting with the hundreds of NPCs, items, objects and plot points. The game will allow for, and encourage, a large range of player expression and roleplaying.
Interacting with the world takes place through tree-based dialog, "choose-you-own-adventure sequences", combat, tile-based exploration and interaction with in-game systems.
SKALD: Against the Black Priory will feature level-based character development with both numerical stats and special abilities. I also intend for roleplaying choices to affect character development by taking a leaf from classics such as Fallout 1 and 2.
SKALD is a fantasy setting and magic is a huge part of fantasy world building. It will play a big part in the game and designing a system that is both mechanically and narratively appealing is a challenge I can't wait to dig into! More on that down the line.
The game will release on Windows and Mac first with releases for handheld devices down the line. NOTE: The demo and BETA version is for Windows only!
Estimated release date is June 2020.
The Gallian Empire is in turmoil: By virtue of it's Wizard Lords, the Empire stood for a thousand years. Now the fabrics of the realm is fraying. Within, the ruling elite is losing its jealously guarded monopoly on the use of magics. Without, hordes of enemies threaten the realms of man.
In these troubled times heroes are few and far between.
On the isolated island of Idra, lies the Black Priory. Its great libraries were once a haven of enlightenment and wisdom. These days its halls see far darker practices. The Wizard Lord dispatches an elite group of his finest knights to bring Imperial justice to the accursed monastery.
However, all is nearly lost when disaster strikes on the high seas: The ship carrying the party is lost in a storm. All perish, save one: You.
Stranded on the shore of the bleak island, you are the people's last hope for Imperial justice!
Gather what allies you can and prepare to face the Black Priory - pray your sanity holds!
The rewards for backing SKALD: Against the Black Priory span from digital copies of the game to awesome feelies and special rewards.
Backers who recieve the game, get a DRM-free version of SKALD: Against the Black Priory for Windows or Mac shipped digitally and / or on a custom USB card.
Demo and BETA
Backers who get the demo will recieve it shortly after the Kickstarter campaign ends. The demo represents the ALPHA version of the game and is intended as proof of concept.
The closed BETA commences in late 2019. Backers who qualify will receive invitations as well as access to the "BETA tester" Discord channel.
The map will feature the games overland area. It will be hand-drawn and full color. Depending on tier. backers will receive it digitally, as a folded paper print or as a luxurious cloth map.
Manual and Campaign Guide
The manual and campaign guide will, at a minimum, be a 32-page. soft-cover booklet with black and white illustrations. The manual will explain the rules and gameplay, whilst the campaign guide will serve as an introduction to the SKALD universe with an emphasis on the Gallian Empire and the Island of Idra with its locations and surroundings.
Besides providing hints and context for the main game, the campaign guide will contain enough information that it will be possible to use the setting in a tabletop RPG campaign.
The manual will be available in print and / or as a digital file depending on reward tier.
At certain tiers, backers will be invited to participate in the design process for in-game content. Certain terms and conditions apply however:
- The backer must be able to participate before the deadline of May 2020
- The creator retains full creative control and retains the right to refuse all and any content not suitable within the game and setting
- The creator may alter any submitted content as he sees fit
- The backer will be credited if any content is used
Exclusive In-Game Content
"The Hermitage" is a small Imperial safehouse in Idra where you will gain access to exclusive items, recruitable NPCs and story content.
"The Lord of Idra" will give you access to a sea-side estate that will give you access to unique resources and characters.
Both pieces of content may be released as add-ons to the original game down the line.
T-shirt sizes will be requested and must be provided within the deadline (approx. May 2020). Failure to provide a size before the deadline means we may not be able to guarantee the size of your choice.
With the campaign blowing through the first 100% in less than 24 hours, it's now time to start thinking about stretch goals! We'll be publishing stretch-goals here as we go so stay posted! Goals so far:
100% within 24-hours: Full Color Cover *COMPLETED*
We make the cover art for the manual full color!
90.000 NOK: Mountains of Madness *COMPLETED*
The adventure extends beyond the isle of Idra, into the icy hellscape that is the northern polar regions. Its hostile climate, cyclopean ruins and Lovecraftian horrors will test your mettle as you sail into the eternal night of the high north!
105.000 NOK: The Captain class *COMPLETED*
The game is intended to ship with five "canonical" classes. If we reach 105.000 NOK I will design a sixth class: "The Captain". The Captain is a combat based class with strong leadership skills and expert maritime and navigational skills.
120.000 NOK / 13.800 USD: The Port of Adler’s Helm *COMPLETED*
Adler’s Helm is the northern-most Imperial provincial capital and the seat of Imperial power in the north. It’s also the jumping off point for the expedition to Idra and the Black Priory!
By adding Adler’s Helm to the game, I now get to make the game a three act piece: from the bleak isle of Idra, to the streets of Adler’s Helm and the frozen hellscape of the high North!
140.000 NOK / 16.000 USD: Vile Volumes *COMPLETED*
If we make our fourth stretch goal, we get to be a lot more ambitious with the manual / campaign guide! We planned to ship with approx. the equivalent of 3 pages of illustrations. If we make the mark we'll up that to the equivalent of 6 pages in a 32 page manual!
This means we get to flesh out the city of Adler's Helm as well as add hand-drawn maps for locations and a fully illustrated bestiary of monsters! You'll be able to run a tabletop-RPG campaign in the SKALD universe!
This also means we can afford to pay an editor to give the book the polish it deserves!
160.000 NOK / 18.400 USD: Infinite Darkness *COMPLETED*
If we make our fifth goal, we're adding a procedurally generated murder-dungeon to the game as optional side content! The area will be completely optional and besides the main game, and will allow you to create a party of up to 6 custom characters and take them on a doomed descent into an infinite dungeon. This will allow you to keep enjoying SKALD long after you've finished the main game!
180.00 NOK / 21.000 USD: To be revealed!
Should we add:
A) Two more classes
Poll on twitter now!
I've been super lucky to have a group of extremely talented freelancers help bring the game to where it is today!
MementoMoree has been creating art since his late teenage years. Proficient in most types of art, from pencil & paper to highly detailed 4k textures, he's found solace and pleasure in the retro pixel art!
Marco Pedrana is a digital and traditional artist (illustration, storyboards, comic art, paintings, installations, pixel art), focusing on narrative art, regardless the media or the scope. He works in advertising and game design (Aeon of Sands: story, texts, graphics, audio, VCS testing). He loves D&D, his cat Agony, Spring, and the sounds coming from the meadow outside his window.
Romanus Surt is a Jack of all trades at Graverobber Foundation and the developer behind Das Geisterschiff. He did the music for the SKALD demo.
Edwin Montgomery is a composer and sound designer for games, films and performance. A long-time RPG obsessive, he wrote the soundtrack for inXile's remastered release of "Wasteland" and is currently working on the 30th Anniversary version. He has created music and sounds for a variety of fantasy game worlds, including Warhammer 40,000, Game of Thrones and Neverwinter. Edwin did the sound design for the SKALD demo.
SKALD is being developed in the SKALD engine. This is a home made engine written specifically for creating old-school, tile based RPGs for modern platforms. The engine is built on top of Unity and has access to Unity's powerful cross compiler.
The primary release for SKALD: Against the Black Priory is for Windows and Mac on Steam. Depending on how well the game is recieved I'll consider publishing on other desktop platforms as well as handheld devices.
Risks and challenges
With any project there is always a risk of the project failing to complete or severely under-performing. For SKALD the biggest risk stems from this being a solo-project. As a result, if something happens to me, there is nobody to fill my shoes and finish the project.
That being said, during the entire development process, I have adopted a stance of risk aversion.
The game is developed on Unity 3D: A leading and well established game development tool. Unity 3D is well supported in terms of having a large community and a robust technical support system. There is also every reason to believe that Unity 3D will remain supported in the future.
Furthermore, an advantage to developing a retro-style game is that mechanics and graphics are considerably easier to produce for small teams. I keep a very strict line on avoiding feature creep, and the graphical constraints limit bloating on the production of art assets.
The same can be said for backer rewards: the focus is on keeping the (physical) rewards limited and easy to handle. My goal is, first and foremost, to bring you the actual game!
Finally, development on SKALD: Against the Black Priory is already well under way and I maintain a playable build at all times. The demo of the game ALPHA version will be available July 2019 as a proof of concept.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)