The Banner Saga progress report for the early July
Hello most excellent backers!
Is it update #20 already? We've got a ton of stuff to talk about, so let's just jump in.
As always we'll start with the Kickstarter prize updates. In the last video you saw all the most popular prizes littering my house and at this point I'm pleased to say we've now dropped off more than half to be mailed and we'll have the rest done within a week. As for other prizes like landscapes or animation cels, we'll be doing our best to have those ready to go by their delivery date. And again, we'll be asking for the crests later this year, you haven't missed it yet.
A first release is fast approaching
As a lot of the mundane but time-consuming aspects of running a business settle down (changing banks and setting up quickbooks... ugh), we've now entered a very critical period of development. As we've mentioned before, we're working exclusively on the combat system for the full game now, and we'll be releasing this combat as a free standalone called Factions, in the near future. A free demo with both single player and multiplayer content, if you will. We're just now transitioning from alpha to beta on this combat release, which means going from playable to polished and balanced. This is a pretty critical part of the process and we're all buckling down for an intense couple of months.
Entering beta not only lets us test final, fully functional combat but it also allows our sound developers and composer to start implementing their work and we can finally get all the animations and particles tied up to each action.
Big progress so far this month:
- We've dedicated a lot of time to playtesting the combat and balancing the 18 unique classes we'll be shipping with. They're as finished as they're going to get until beta.
- We've designed and created almost every UI (user interface) screen in the game where you can buy new units, upgrade them, build your party and enter different combat scenarios, in addition to creating all the UI for the combat itself which is a bigger task than one might think.
- We've now completed a first pass on almost every design document we'll need for the game, including the quest system, combat spreadsheets, achievements, item system, history and lore guides, along with a final timeline through the entire game. As most developers can tell you, these sort of design docs are never really complete but continue to get updated and tweaked throughout production.
- We've laid the foundation for most of the toolsets we need to build the content; including a world building tool, class editor, ability editor, and are continuing to work on the item creator and the battle map editor.
- We've gotten every contractor we need ready to go, signed and accounted for.
- We're officially set up with accounting.
- Powerhouse Animation has delivered 90% of the character animations for our first release and are now at work on special abilities and advanced class variations.
- Our hand-animated 2D cinematic is well under way. Having nearly finished the blocking and rough pass, Powerhouse has just begun work on the cleanup. Austin Wintory has already laid down a preliminary track for this and it sounds fantastic.
- We've just now wrapped up the main "hub" for our first release, which has allowed us to produce a ton of art content for the full game that we'll be able to use to populate the world. This hub is the sprawling merchant city of Strand. Check out the small version below and our forums for a full-sized version, which should be up later today.
In the next several weeks we'll be producing a ton of content: roughly 20 combat boards, our intro cinematic, full-sized portraits for each class, tons of icons, and of course continue to playtest and balance the combat up to the last minute. On the tech side, we'll be focused almost exclusively on making sure the combat runs smoothly. We'll keep you up to date as we go.
Kickstarter is getting crazy!
There's a lot going on with Kickstarter right now. We wanted to point out a couple of our favorite projects. As always, we're not saying we don't like projects that we don't mention, we just want to point out a few we think you might be interested in.
Click the name to check out their page.
Chances are you've heard of this one, but we've gotten a lot of messages about it asking what we thought. We love the idea of an indie-centric console and we've reserved a box ourselves. We'd love to have The Banner Saga on it someday. Is it going to live up to all that potential? We have no idea, but we're willing to find out. Should you support it? We don't know! There are a lot of articles about the OUYA, so do the research and decide if putting down $100 is right for you.
Our good friend and ex-Biowarian Lance Myers has just started a campaign for an animated movie called Boxer Story. This guy is a world-class 2D animator (you know how we feel about that) and our only regret is that we couldn't get him to help on The Banner Saga. Check out his video and keep in mind everything you see is done by one person. Amazing stuff!
Our friends and local Austin devs Red Fly Studio just started a campaign for their game BAD PLANET, in conjunction with Thomas Jane and Tim Bradstreet. The game already has a ton of great content available in comic format, so go check out their campaign and if you like what you see help them achieve their goal!
Alex, Arnie and John
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An exclusive desktop WALLPAPER for your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, along with our heartfelt thanks. Choose with or without the logo. Be a part of the movement!Estimated delivery:
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A copy of THE BANNER SAGA with all the Chapter 1 content, along with all the big upgrades we're planning to add to the multiplayer, distributed digitally on PC or Mac. Includes all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Get the AWESOME SPECIAL EDITION of The Banner Saga. The single player game as described above, plus the digital art book including production art and design sketches, the original soundtrack and desktop wallpaper. On top of all that, as a special thanks we'll include your name in the OFFICIAL CREDITS for the game.Estimated delivery:
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Be a real part of The Banner Saga! At this tier we'll provide you a template and you provide us with YOUR OWN CREST DESIGN which we'll put into the actual game. In both single and multiplayer, players will choose a family crest that represent them; this is your chance to get your family or guild symbol into the Banner Saga (must meet a few reasonable decency guidelines - see the FAQ). Includes all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
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SPECIAL POSTER PROMOTION: We've gotten so many requests for just the poster that we can't ignore them any longer! For this special reward, get just the poster (unsigned) and the special edition of the game, no frills. This prize does NOT include the button or the guild crest but DOES include your name in the credits. All higher level donations continue to get the $80 version of this prize. Include an additional $10 for shipping outside the US & Canada.Estimated delivery:
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A limited edition print of the official game POSTER for The Banner Saga in full movie poster size (24 x 36 inches), SIGNED by the team at Stoic. Look to the left to check out the art. Also, to show off your viking spirit in public we'll include a BUTTON that looks just like the main character's brooch. Includes all previous rewards - please add $10 for shipping outside the US & Canada.Estimated delivery:
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Your generous donation guarantees that you'll get not just the poster but a T-SHIRT designed exclusively for the Kickstarter campaign (check the art to the left). Once it's over we won't be making any more! Includes all previous rewards - please add $10 for shipping outside the US & Canada.Estimated delivery:
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Austin Wintory, composer of the hit game "Journey", will be providing limited edition PHYSICAL COPIES OF THE SOUNDTRACK, hand-signed by the composer himself. Different from the official soundtrack, once the campaign ends these special edition CDs won't be available again. As part of the special music promotion, the donations we receive from this prize category go directly to help fund an all-out, full orchestral score for the game, recorded in a live studio! Includes all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
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47 backers Limited (3 left of 50)
Don't just support the Banner Saga, own a piece of art from it. This tier features a physical, numbered ANIMATION CEL from the game, just like how they used to do it back in days of yore. Choose one of two pivotal characters from the game. Includes all previous rewards - please add $15 for shipping outside the US & Canada.Estimated delivery:
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17 backers Limited (33 left of 50)
Get an autographed copy of the performance parts from the recording sessions; the SHEET MUSIC used by the actual musicians who play on the score. Needless to say, this prize will be a limited run. As part of the special music promotion, the donations we receive from this prize category go directly to help fund an all-out, full orchestral score for the game, recorded in a live studio! Includes all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
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50 backers All gone!
Kickstarter is a chance not just to fund the game but to offer art for the sake of art. Get a full-sized, 12 x 36 FRAMED LANDSCAPE work of art inspired by the incredible American master Eyvind Earle. No logos, no gimmicks; numbered and signed by the artist. Check it out in the details to the left. Includes all previous rewards - please add $20 for shipping outside the US & Canada.Estimated delivery:
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17 backers Limited (8 left of 25)
Immortalize something meaningful to you in The Banner Saga. Send us a photo of YOUR OWN HEIRLOOM, memento or just something you'd like to show your friends and we'll turn it into a relic of value and power. We'll work with you to come up with a unique name and description that could include anything from a mysterious inscription to giving off a certain aura. You'll personalize it and make a coveted piece of gameplay by choosing from a list of rarities and in-game bonuses it provides. Doesn't look very viking-themed you say? That's ok, the marketplaces trade in items pillaged from all over the world. Because this includes all previous rewards, please add $20 for shipping outside the US and CanadaEstimated delivery:
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10 backers All gone!
We're incredibly excited about this one. We've partnered with an amazing artist to turn our landscape artwork into a 3-dimensional SHADOWBOX that replicates the feeling of parallax you get from traveling across the land. Framed with a glass cover and coming in at 20 x 16 inches this is a serious piece of art. Numbered and signed. Includes all previous rewards - don't worry about the shipping cost; you're good.Estimated delivery:
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7 backers All gone!
The gods may be dead but they're not forgotten. BECOME A VIKING GOD in the actual game. We'll create a unique deity with your likeness and work with you on a great name and backstory for him or her. You'll appear in the game in various forms of effigy and be written into the lore, where all may see. Includes all previous rewards. Email us for more info.Estimated delivery:
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0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)
You are invited to personally ATTEND the music's recording sessions in Los Angeles or elsewhere later this year. This will include a day of hanging out with all of us at the recording studio, and lunch (on us). You will also receive a signed, leather-bound book compiling all of the game's music (produced as a one-off and therefore never commercially for sale) and earn a Music Associate Producer credit in the game and on the album. Not enough? Austin will personally compose an original 30-second ringtone, just for you! As part of the special music promotion, the donations we receive from this prize category go directly to help fund an all-out, full orchestral score in the game recorded in a live studio! Please note: this is a special case prize. While it does include the signed CD and the sheet music, it does not include any of the previous rewards. This one's for serious music fans. You must be able to travel to the Los Angeles area or elsewhere. If you're interested in this prize you must contact us to make arrangements before the end of the Kickstarter campaign.Estimated delivery:
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We'll rotoscope and ANIMATE YOU, personally, into the game doing an attack or using a special ability so you, too, can look like a badass viking. How many chances will you have to be animated into a 2D game? Backers must be local or able to travel to the Austin/Georgetown area. Afterwards, let's get some lunch. Includes all previous rewards, do we even need to say it at this point? Email us for more info.Estimated delivery:
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1 backer All gone!
We have so many prizes now we had to compile them all into ONE FINAL, HUGE MEGA-PRIZE. The Executive gives you every prize we have to offer (except for the rotoscope shoot), including the viking god and attending the recording session. On top of that, you will be given an Executive Music Producer credit in the game and on the album. Lastly, receive a framed copy of the Banner Saga main theme, each note inscribed by hand by Austin Wintory, who will also be kind enough to sign his work. Has anything like this even been done before? Please contact us before donating at this tier.Estimated delivery:
- (32 days)