About this project
Deadwood is best summed up as a blend of Zelda and Don’t Starve. A unique blend of adventuring and survival.
"Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse has a pretty cute exterior. The wooden, marionette-like characters, good and bad, have a charming, cartoon-style appearance that makes them look adorable even when they're trying to be menacing." - IndieGames.com
This is our story
We are Keith, Jalil, and Adam. And this is the tale of how we left our successful careers behind and put our savings on the line to make the game of our dreams. Once we decided to leave our respective jobs (including Weta and Dreamworks) we moved our families to the small town of Eustis and prepared ourselves to live as meekly as possible. With our collective savings only able to get us through the first 6 months of production we had to find ways to stretch a dollar. Like kicking Keith’s parents out of their house so he could move in with his family. And then setting up our Dreamworks animator and his family in the most luxurious place we could afford. Keith’s basement. Then we started bringing on a small but talented group of young developers and started building our dream game....
Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse is an action/adventure game with a unique survival twist. You play as Lathe, a teenage woodling and an avid inventor. During your adventures you are accompanied by a stone giant named Roguard. Together you must fight back hordes of wooden zombies, better known as "The Deadwood" and stop the curse from spreading through the land of Knottington. By day, Roguard will protect you from the deadwood. This will allow you the freedom to explore the land of Knottington. You’ll scavenge for resources and then use those resources to craft your weapons and defenses. Because when the sun sets, Roguard falls asleep, leaving you alone to fight back the deadwood and protect your stone companion. With the right balance of strategy and skill you may just survive the night.
UPDATE SPOTLIGHT: New Deadwood Animation Video
For a more in-depth look on how we're making Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse, check out our production video series.
"…I think I have found a zombie game that I could get into." - Death by Beta
- Zelda meets Don’t Starve. A unique blend of adventuring and survival.
- An incredible story about an unlikely friendship in a world ravaged by wooden zombies.
- Scavenge for resources and then build customized weapons and defenses.
- Wide variety of interesting weapons at your disposal.
- Amber modifiers give every weapon a unique and strategic attribute.
- Huge open world filled with fun, quirky characters.
- Beautiful art and animation with a stylized, cartoony feel.
- Platforms - PC, Linux, Mac (more to come).
Read below for more information about the game and the studio creating Deadwood or visit Steamroller Studios website for news and updates.
The Almighty Deodar Tree brought the Deadwood curse to the land of Knottington many centuries ago. It’s power could not be stopped. All hope seemed lost, until 4 mysterious stone companions cast a spell that contained the curse. Now, years later, someone has plucked a seed from it’s twisted branches and unleashed the curse once again. Only the keeper’s apprentice and one of the stone companions can hope to recast the spell, and save land Knottington.
Core Reasons you'll want to play Deadwood
Deadwood:The Forgotten Curse is an epic tale about two very different characters learning about the true meaning of friendship. This engaging story is partnered with our unique gameplay blend of survival and adventuring.
Day/Night Cycle. Our world changes and the player must be able to adapt quickly in order to survive the night. Use your crafting skills to build tactical defenses and weapons to protect your sleepy friend, Roguard, against the Deadwood.
Art Driven World. Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse has a beautifully painted art style and fun cartoony animation. Explore a "quirky and cute" world filled with dangerous forests, vast plains, and tons of fun and unique characters.
Challenging Quests. Our map is filled with tons of world related quests. We wanted Deadwood to give the player the option to learn more about the world's history and characters with extended side quests.
Let's get crafty! Our crafting system allows the player to build various types of weapons and defenses. Use the materials and amber modifiers you've gathered while scavenging on your journey. As long as you've acquired the design and the proper materials, you can craft away.
There are four core defense types: landmines, barricades, turrets, and decoys. All will require different materials and amber to craft, and each one has it's own strengths and weaknesses.
Scavenge, Secure, Survive
Scavenge: Search buildings/bodies for materials. Breakdown certain items for resources. Explore areas for items such as ammo and health.
Secure: Build barricades, traps, mines, and decoys to help hold down the fort and plan for the night’s attack. Also fortify/repair existing structures during attacks as deadwoods wear them down.
Survive: Omni-directional top-down shooting mechanics. The deadwood take effort and strategy to kill, so be careful, they never stop coming.
Uncover Amber. During your exploration of Knottington you'll gather many types of amber, which is used to modify weapons and defenses. Each modifier has a unique source of energy.
Sweet sounds. Andy Lackey has worked on some of the best games and films of the last decade. He'll make our wooden zombies sound awesome.
Catchy music. Final Fantasy meets Dexter. Once you hear it, you'll have it in your head all day. Listen to some of the music scored by the amazing Luke Thomas.
Sprout (as seen above) - Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but don't be fooled by this cute and adorable creature. They'll do absolutely anything to snack on some sap!
Splinter - If you are intimidated by Splinter's glowing amber exterior... you should be. They attack fearlessly from a distance and will dodge your attacks.
Knot - A chunky looking fella. They love to smash woodlings as well as other deadwood that stand in his way.
Thorn - What he lacks in size he makes up for in crazy. Coordinated and explosive, these guys hunt in packs.
Open World to Explore
We have crafted a vast world filled with a variety of interesting locations to explore. With our custom hex tile system we can create massive worlds at an accelerated rate so we may spend more time with the art direction.
Lathe - An avid inventor with a tendency to day dream most of his hours away, works as an apprentice to Radley, the old Keeper of Deadwood Pass. The Keepers job is to watch over the Almighty tree of Deadwood Forest, and to make sure no-one ever plucks its wicked seed. Having worked with Radley for the past few years, Lathe has grown fond of the old Woodling.... and learning about a possible Deadwood apocalypse is much more fun than going to school or doing house chores. Lathe enjoys the fact that Radley is incredibly passionate about his job as the Keeper, and takes the job of Apprentice Keeper very seriously, even though the town's people feel it's just a silly job to keep an old woodling occupied.
Roguard -This deadwood infestation cannot be stopped by Lathe alone. Who would a true hero be, like Lathe, without his rock solid companion. Roguard is made of stone and has a big heart that's captured by life’s simple beauty. Roguard unfortunately has no recollection of where he's come from with the exception that he knows he's lived in the mountains for many, many years. He is troubled by one thought however. He feels the need to find these... sparkles, but he has no idea to what these sparkles could be. When he runs into Lathe he realizes that there is a bigger problem afoot and swears to help in anyway he can to prevent further danger to woodlings.
What if we created wooden zombies in a "quirky and cute" open world? Well, that's what Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse is! We wanted to create a charming world that was beautiful to look at with a dark added twist. Don't Starve and Tim Burton films were some of our inspirations for the darker elements. We we're also inspired by Zelda and Secret of Mana for the lighter side of things. Combining these inspirations we've created a fun and unique look that runs through the animation, story, interface, and every other facet of the game.
Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse is a passion project for us. We have been working on it part time for a while, but have recently invested all of our savings and time into doing this fulltime. We currently have a core team of 6 and an extra 5 or so helping offsite. We are now moving full steam ahead to bring you the best game possible. We believe in Deadwood and we believe that our team has what it takes to deliver it.
We are looking to our fellow game lovers, developers and fans alike to help us push Deadwood into a more expansive direction with more quests, more explorable areas and a more intricate story line for our two grand adventurers to conquer.
The great thing about Kickstarter is that it allows us to share our process with you. We want to give you an inside look into how we develop, market and explore new territory in creating our open world. We would love for you to be a part of this process through our live stream meetings, consistent dev updates, and blogs.
We know that it seems odd that we're only asking for $65,000 when there are other indie games of similar scope asking for more.
Deadwood has been a game years in the making by a small team of artists that have invested a pretty hefty amount of their own time and money into the game. Instead of running to publishers for help to push our game, we want to hear from you! With your help, we can work together on making Deadwood into a unique survival game that we're all going to enjoy.
This is a breakdown of how the funds are going to work.
Deadwood still requires attention to story, design, modeling, programming, character animation, sound design, effects, and with the stretch goals, possibly multi player and more. Also keep in mind that as the budget grows the game will grow too.
The Steamroller team is a league of creators gathered together to bring the Deadwood dream alive. We knew we built a strong and dedicated team when everyone was willing to juggle multiple jobs while working on Deadwood in their spare time. As the story progressively grew stronger and a solid foundation was built, the team realized that Deadwood has the potential to be something AWESOME. Reality set in that time was not on our side with everyone only working part time on the game. If we wanted to see Deadwood reach its full potential, something had to change. The decision was agreed upon for us all to leave the comfort of our day jobs and dedicate our creative efforts to the game.
Steamroller Studios is located in the small, quiet town of Eustis, FL (a hidden treasure just outside of the Orlando area). Why in the world Eustis you ask? Great question! Well, in the pong years, Keith and Adam were born in this small town. Moving around and working in new and faraway places in the later years, they reunited home bringing alongside them a new friend and future game play designer, Jalil. Thus Steamroller Studios was born.
Construction began on the studio in the summer of 2014. After fixing a horribly leaky roof, assembling furniture, cutting sooooo... much... wood and using MASSIVE amounts of glue, our team had a home for Deadwood. Now we are running full steam ahead with Deadwood. We are excited to share with you our own twist on a zombie survival game with our playfully colored world, quirky environment designs and entertaining narrative.
Join us on this adventurous journey with our beloved hero, Lathe and his fun loving companion, Roguard, through the unraveling of the curse that looms over Knottington.
These awesome artists have contributed to the development of Deadwood in various of ways.
Keith Lackey- is the brain, the wizard, and programmer extraordinaire of this operation. One of the co-founders of Steamroller Studios, Keith's love for making games sprung from his robust problem solving abilities. In his past adventures he has spent 8 years at Weta Digital where he worked on an assortment of films including The Hobbit, Avatar, Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The Avengers. Moving all the way from New Zealand, he has now pledged his genius to Steamroller Studios and is prepared to make Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse his next trophy.
Adam Meyer- is our Creative Director as well as captain of the good ship Deadwood. He's responsible for the look and feel of the game. Adam has worked for clients such as EA, Disney, Universal Studios, and Irrational Games. He has also lent his hand to a few other indie games, including Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville for Northway games. Deadwood is his baby and he promises not to drop it.
Jalil Sadool - is our Gameplay Director and one of the co-founders of Steamroller Studios. He is also the co-founder of the online animation school CGTarian.com. Before Steamroller Studios and Dreamworks Animation, he was an Animation Lead at Weta Digital Ltd where he worked on such notable films as Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. At Dreamworks Animation he was the Animation Lead on the mighty Bewilderbeast for How to Train your Dragon 2 as well as part of the animation team who brought Jack Frost to life in Rise of the Guardians. His previous films also include The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, 9; Prince Caspian, The Water Horse, Night at the Museum and Charlotte's Web just to name a few. Jalil's passion for games and storytelling has become an integral aspect of Steamroller Studio's culture. His strong work ethic is the driving force behind the production of Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse.
James Mashock - is our one of a kind 3d Modeler. He is always in the groove with his work, forever active as he completes daily tasks. Often we see him running across the room to ask questions or answer our calls. We firmly believe he never stops moving... or doing mischievous things. Graduated from The Illinois Institute of Art- Schaumburge with a BA in Game Art and Design. He also was a huge help in the construction of the studio itself.
Naadia Manuoullah - is our lovely and talented concept artist whom shies away from no challenge. Although she lives in the very cold lands of Canada, she helps us bring the Deadwood world to life with her charming environment concepts. She graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in Fine Arts.
Amanda Renfroe - is our coffee loving Production Manager. She started out at Magnetic Dream Animation Studios in Tennessee as an animator after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design. She gets the fun job of cracking the whip on the others when Deadwood deadlines are coming up. Her other passionate skills also include animation, social media, and organization which prove to be very useful to the production of Deadwood.
Jaryd Snover - is the rigging liaison of Steamroller. He got his start at Sony Imageworks and later Dreamworks Animation. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the latest film he worked on. He grew up in a family of chefs who taught him the meaning of hard work. If nothing else, Jaryd understands characters and how to bring them to life on screen... that and good southern cooking.
Matt Kessler - is our 'can-do' junior technical director. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. for Digital Media with a focus in digital interactive systems. In his spare time he is lead administrator for the Reddit Blood Bowl League and creating his own card game.
Matt Sandoval - is our awesome intern whom goes above and beyond to get whatever nonsense sent his way done. He is currently attending Edinboro University of Pennsylvania for his B.F.A.
Thank you so much for taking the time to look at what we are creating. Keep checking in with us to see progress updates. Thanks again!
Risks and challenges
Creating any game is a risk. Making sure that every aspect of the game works efficiently and effectively while maintaining a solid art direction is challenging. You can have beautiful concepts and amazing animation, but if the story isn't an engaging or entertaining one, then it's going to be very frustrating to play. We are taking all the time necessary to make sure that Deadwood is polished to it's highest standard, and has a compelling story alongside charming animations and an appealing world.
We are confident that with our experience and combined efforts that we can make Deadwood a success. Our promise to you is to keep in constant communication about the project and to deliver to you the best game experience we can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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