About this project
Please note: we've moved all previous edits to the FAQ at the bottom of this page to keep things nice and tidy. We'll only be displaying the latest updates here.
FOR OUR NEW BACKERS: Early on in the campaign we changed the prizes so that anyone who pledges $50 and up will receive all three parts of the trilogy: the full game! It's our thanks for helping us achieve our goal so quickly.
April 20th, 4 hours left in the campaign: KABOOM. 700%. You did it. We didn't believe it could be done. We are in awe. Keep an eye out, we'll be sending out an update when the campaign officially ends exclusive to our incredible backers!
In the last three days of the campaign, we've put together a final video with a some pretty important news... plus we're hiring! Please take a look and get the full description in Update #9.
"The Banner Saga looks to take everything that was great about the heyday of animated motion pictures and crams it into a strategy game that looks almost too good to be true." - Gamezebo
"...the art speaks for itself. The developers describe it as "painstakingly hand-animated," and it shows. The colors are lush, and the stylized scenes and characters as crisp and vivid as in any animated film, perhaps more so." - Kotaku
"It's a beautifully hand-drawn, animated adventure with turn-based tactical strategy set in a post-apocalyptic Viking world. If you didn't start throwing your money at the screen six words into that last sentence, then you're either completely dead inside, or else you enjoy things that are different from the things that I enjoy, in which case you are dead to me." - Cracked
"We got a few glimpses of that hand drawn artwork when the Banner Saga site went live recently, but it looks even better in motion. The turn based combat in particular looks livelier for that hand-drawn touch. Lovely stuff." - PC Gamer
WHAT'S ALL THIS ABOUT BANNERS AND SAGAS?
The Banner Saga is a role-playing game merged with turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings.
Travel through stunning landscapes straight out of an animated film. Battle painstakingly hand-animated foes in strategic, turn-based combat harkening back to the classic "Tactics" days of gaming. Make decisions with consequences in conversations with people you'll truly care about.
And throughout the whole thing record the history of your people on your banner where it will be remembered, because soon there might not be anything left.
The Banner Saga is a mature game aimed at gamers who appreciate art, story and strategy.
Our first priority has always been to make a role-playing game that feels and looks fresh, and plays like the classic tactical strategy games of our childhood. It's not about defeating the villain and saving the day. It's not about grinding to get past the next fight. The Banner Saga throws you into the end of the world and asks "how do you deal with this"?
- DRM-Free, and available on PC and Mac
- Not another generic fantasy: Drawing heavily from Norse culture while creating its own identity and mythology, The Banner Saga takes a low-fantasy approach to viking themes. Giants: yes. Horned helmets: no.
- Strategic combat: Recruit a large roster of unique characters throughout the story, each with different abilities that interact in combat in a deeply tactical way and personalities of their own. The Banner Saga harkens back to classic turn-based gameplay with a strong emphasis on tactics over brute force and endless grinding.
- Travel across gorgeous landscapes: The choices you make as events arise have a huge affect on how the story plays out- who survives, who dies, and what's worth saving. Add people to your caravan as you travel, or lose them when tough decisions arise. You're not just fighting to save nameless strangers, you're fighting for your neighbors, your family and your way of life. We want you to care what happens to them.
- An emphasis on story: Your choices in dialogue and throughout the game truly affect the story and the people around you. A mature story for adults means forming relationships and making tough decisions; not sex, violence and swearing.
- Play online: Though the single-player campaign is our focus, The Banner Saga provides a deep multiplayer game; build a unique party of characters and battle friends and enemies in multiplayer combat. Upgrade your party over time and devise new strategies.
- Risk in gameplay: A lot of modern games play it safe- you know you'll defeat the evil and save the day. In The Banner Saga you can't take anything for granted. We want it to feel like a good tv mini-series; the world doesn't revolve around you, it's about how you deal with change.
What does "Chapter 1" of the full game mean? We've added an explanation in the faq below.
DON'T YOU NEED MILLIONS TO MAKE A GAME LIKE THIS?
With 30 years experience between us in the games industry, and after working as leads on The Old Republic; one of the biggest projects in gaming history, we know what it takes to make a top-tier game.
When we decided to go independent we knew it would mean making some hard compromises, but it was never our goal to make something small and casual. We designed a game that, at its very minimum, would cost us $100,000 while still focusing on our top priorities - story and strategic combat - at the highest possible level of quality.
Our promise to you is that all the support we receive goes right back into the game to make it the best it can be. Your donations don't just let us tack on more stuff, they let us return to the full scope of the game we've always wanted to make.
Additional funding allows us to give you:
- A bigger, richer world. More characters in combat, more animation, more diverse landscapes, more music, engaging animated cutscenes, and more multiplayer options. We have a huge story we want to tell and this will let us deliver it in the most compelling, meaningful way.
- Porting to more devices. Our first release will be on PC and Mac, but funding would allow us to convert the game to iOS, the Kindle Fire, consoles like XBLA and PSN and maybe even portable gaming devices like the Vita.
- Localization (translation) in more places. Viking culture is huge in Europe and turn based strategy is big in Japan. We'd love to bring The Banner Saga to both of those places and anywhere else we find significant interest.
- The game the way we think it should be. By crowdfunding this project we won't be tied to publishers telling us to change the giants to orcs or dumbing the story down for children. We think this means a better game for everyone.
BEHOLD, THE PRIZES
We're absolutely over the moon to be able to offer prizes not just for a game, but as an art project. Scroll down to see everything we have to offer!
A sleek, stylized background for any size computer or portable device. Get it with or without the game logo. Obviously we can't show it here, but it's exclusive to Kickstarter backers and never seen before.
The Guild Crest
This is your chance to get in the game. In both single player and multiplayer, when the player starts the game they choose a crest to represent their family or guild. We'll give you a template, and you give us whatever symbol you want to see in the game. It could be your family crest, your guild emblem, or a drawing of your dog. It's not just for you, though; everyone who plays the game will be able to see your design. If you donate at this level be sure to check out the FAQ for some simple guidelines. Includes all previous rewards.
The Game Poster
A full-sized 24 x 36 inch movie-style poster featuring official artwork for the game and featured on the cover of Indie Game Magazine. Each poster is personally signed by the team at Stoic! Includes all previous rewards.
A t-shirt designed exclusively for the Kickstarter campaign and only for backers. Carved into the horn is the history of the world. Once the campaign is over they'll never be seen again! We'll be making the t-shirt available in all the major sizes (s, m, l, xl and xxl) and both genders. Includes all previous rewards.
All prizes at the $80 and up level come with a free pin based on the brooch worn by a key character the game, which can be seen in the animation cel below. Use it to hold together your sheep-skin cloak in the icy winds! Show off your viking spirit in public! Or whatever! Includes all previous rewards.
The Score (Special music promotion)
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 in the game, recorded in a live studio! Includes all previous rewards.
The Animation Cel
This is a throwback to the golden age of animation. A cel is a single frame of animation on a transparent sheet that is laid on top of a painted image. If you're a huge classic animation nerd like we are, you can own a signed and numbered 8.5 x 14 inch animation cel from the game the way they used to do it in the good old days of Disney and Don Bluth. Includes all previous rewards. Pick one of two pivotal characters below:
The Signature (Special music promotion)
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.
We're thrilled to offer our take on works of art inspired by the incredible paintings of the American master Eyvind Earle. This is an image that defines The Banner Saga's art style. Get this framed 36 x 12 inch lithograph with no logos, no gimmicks, signed and numbered by the artist in limited supply. Your friends won't even know it's from a game unless you decide to tell them. Includes all previous rewards.
Immortalize something meaningful to you in The Banner Saga that other players will find on their own adventures. 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. Check the FAQ for more info. Includes all previous rewards.
We'll be creating a piece of art with true depth that replicates the way the game parallaxes and overlaps. It comes in a 2-inch deep glass-paned frame at a hefty 20 x 16 inches. Below is an example image by the artist who will be creating the shadowbox (not the actual image!). Rest assured that we'll be doing something special for this piece. Includes all previous rewards.
BECOME A VIKING GOD in the game itself. The gods may be dead but that doesn't mean they're not an important part of The Banner Saga. We'll work with you to create a unique deity with your likeness which will be seen all over the game in various forms of effigy and as an integral part of the lore, all in strong Norse themes. If you're interested in this prize please contact us via email. Includes all previous rewards.
The Performance (Special music promotion)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Motion Shoot
Come on over to our high-tech motion capture studio and we'll put YOU (yes, physically you) in the game, doing an animation for an attack or special skill. Think you'll look silly? Don't worry, by the time we're done you'll look a bad-ass viking warrior. After the shoot we'll take you out to lunch and chat about the game. Male or female, no problem; we've got plenty of characters to choose from. We can honestly say there will probably never be another chance like this. Must live locally or be able to travel to the Austin, TX area. If you're interested in this prize please contact us via email. Includes all previous rewards.
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.
That's not enough? If you have any questions about the prizes or are interested in making some kind of arrangements for a private donation, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
WHO ARE YOU, TO PROMISE SUCH THINGS?
Stoic is made up of three industry veterans with over a decade of experience each, and from all walks of development. We're overwhelmingly confident that, with your help, we can create something meaningful and beautiful.
Arnie Jorgensen started off working on comics such as Justice League America for DC. Eventually he got into games, putting his abilities to work on Star Wars: Galaxies and The Old Republic as the lead concept artist. Now instead of making art just for concepts it goes right into the game.
Alex Thomas got into the industry early and has done everything from 3D characters and environments to 2D animation, illustration, screenplay writing, game design and cinematics for games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Shadowbane.
John Watson has been programming since he was 6. After doing some work on the Hubble at NASA he decided to apply his vast abilities in the games industry, eventually bringing his experience as lead combat programmer on The Old Republic to Stoic.
We're honored and humbled to have this opportunity, and we're beyond lucky to be in this position at this time. We'll do everything we can to make the kind of game that we're proud of sharing and talking about with gamers and, hopefully, create something that's meaningful to you. We're in this for the long haul. Keep in touch with us at thebannersaga.com or write to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And of course, a huge thanks to our families and friends who have supported us every step of the way. We couldn't have done it without you.
Linux is now being supported. Check update #6 in the updates tab fro more info.
From the outset, our plan has been to provide a template and then convert what you give us automatically. Obviously we won't have the capacity to recreate over 1000 symbols by hand. We'll be talking more about the template before the campaign ends so you can see if it's something you can commit to!
As for sorting through each crest, it looks like we are going to have a huge library of images. When you submit your crest it will include a survey which allows you to assign a name to it, as well as categorize it with tags such as "animal" or "weapon". This will allow players to search for their tag or just see everything of a particular category.
The Banner Saga as it exists in this Kickstarter will be a complete story in its own right. In terms of a larger story arc, it represents the first part of a three-part trilogy that has already been planned out. We don't yet have a timeline for the full trilogy, as our first priority is to complete Chapter 1 of The Banner Saga and see where that takes us!
Our goal is that when all chapters are complete, each game will both stand on their own, AND form a fantastic and cohesive whole, like any great series of books, movies, or games.
Chapter 1 of the game will not be a short 2-hour fling. Depending on how much we raise during this campaign the length of the game will vary.
The decisions you make and characters you build in Chapter 1 of the game will carry over into the other chapters of the game.
Why not just make one complete game from the start? Developing all three parts of the game could take some time and as an indie developer we can't afford to fund a 2-year development cycle. We decided to make it into a trilogy to keep people interested in the game and get it to players sooner.
We've just recently decided to give the full 3-part game away to anyone who donates (or has already donated) $50 or more to the campaign. It's our thanks for making this campaign such an amazing success!
To keep it simple we'd like to keep it to four simple guidelines:
1) no sexual content (sorry). That means no genitals, innuendo or implied phallus hidden in the negative space.
2) No trademarked or otherwise plagiarized logos.
3) Try to keep things in a vaguely appropriate theme. If you've really got to get your spaceship logo in there it's not a big deal, but please try to hold off on the assault rifles and trollface guys.
4) It has to be an graphic image or icon. We can't put text on a banner.
For now, just sit back and relax. We literally can't start working on prizes until the campaign has ended, but then we'll be sending out an email to all the donators explaining just how to submit your design.
We're already looking into getting the game up on the major distribution sites including the ever-popular Steam. Believe me, we'll let you know as soon as we do!
Yes, we've included the additional cost of shipping for each individual prize (some are heavier than others). Please check out the description of the prize before donating. You do NOT need to add up the total cost for each additional level.
All submissions must be digital (no mailing us napkins with sketches on them), which means either drawing it on your computer or scanning in a hand-drawn image. We're working out a convenient way to make sure everyone's submission will make it into the game but we don't expect it to be very complicated.
DRM-free = yes. We have no intention of installing invasive software on your computer.
You will always have the option of downloading a standalone version of the game to play on your hard drive, if you prefer not to use services like Steam.
We consider the first part of The Banner Saga to be a complete game in its own right. We also plan to make The Banner Saga a trilogy. Once all three parts are finished they will tie together to form the entire trilogy and one big story arc. Your progress from Chapter 1 will carry over into Chapter 2 and 3. We will be releasing Chapter 1 first, then 2 and then 3 as soon as each part is complete. In case you miss out on donating, all 3 parts of the game can still be purchased after the Kickstarter campaign ends!
Still need more info? Check the long version below!
As it turns out, we're already on board with the idea, and we've been funding projects that we think could be something amazing with our own cash, which we'll continue to do as long as cool projects pop up. We're as into playing games as we are making them.
Once the campaign has ended we'll be sending out surveys to find out all the shirt sizes we need. We can cover any of the major sizes for both genders.
Mind powers! Also, once the campaign has ended we'll be sending out surveys to find out which image you'd like.
Because the items in our game will provide passive bonuses, they can include anything that is a wearable item: earrings, necklace, ring, hair jewelry, bracers, shoes, boots, gloves, brooch, shoulder pad, sash, belt, buckle, weapon attachment, pommel wrap, rune carving, etc etc.
What we cannot do is change the weapon in a character's hand. This would complicate out animation and item system beyond the scope of what we can handle. If you have something similar to a weapon you'd really like to get in the game email us and we'll work with to find a way to fit it in, either as a wearable "secondary" weapon, like a side dagger or as an element of their equipped weapon.
Believe me, we would love to offer a version of the game in box form but we have been unable to find somebody who could produce this for a good price while keeping the prize relatively cheap. Producing a physical box, printing a game manual and burning CDs is time consuming and expensive, and usually only becomes cost-effective in the hundreds of thousands of copies.
If you can do the job or know someone who can, email us at email@example.com.
No worries, when the Kickstarter campaign ends we'll be sending out a survey allowing you to pick which platform you'd like your copy of the game. We know some gamers consider Steam to be DRM, so we'll be offering the game for direct download to your harddrive, free to play locally.
That said, we will not be hosting our own multiplayer servers. Mutliplayer will require you to use an existing service such as Steam, which we talk more about at a later date.
Aren't there already viking gods like Odin and Loki? Will you be mucking with them for the Transcendence prize?
The Banner Saga is strongly influenced by viking culture, but is not using actual Norse mythology. Instead, we have our own mythology and history, and our own reasons for the end of the world and what happens in the story. Each god in The Banner Saga is a new creation.
While we don't yet know the exact numbers (and we're still actively optimizing the game), being completely 2D gives us the advantage of running at a fairly low minimum spec. We'll give you specifics as soon as we know ourselves.
Update #1: Oh my... over 2000 backers on day 1? We can't believe the amount of support we've already gotten... a huge thank you to everyone who has already donated!
Due to overwhelming demand, we've added a special $50 reward for those of you who want JUST the poster and game. Check out the new reward to the right!
Update #2: YOU DID IT. Unbelievable! You've helped us achieve our goal in under two days. From all of us at Stoic we're so incredibly grateful! The second update is ready to go for all the backers that contributed, and again: thank you!
Update #3: 150% on day three? Holy moly. We've also put up a new survey in the official update #3 tab about languages, so check it out.
Update #4: This is insane! Over 200% in four days! We are in awe. We've been thinking about what we can do to thank you guys and have some really great ideas we'll be talking about soon.
Additionally, we've gotten so many requests to make Paypal easier to use that we've added a direct link to Paypal donations. See the "International Friends" section below if you're interested in donating through Paypal.
Update 5: Lost in the void of the internet. But it was big news. Any pledges at $50 and up get the full game! See the updates tab for more info.
Update #6: We're late to the 300% party! Whew, we almost don't know what to say anymore. What we will say is that after being buried (in a good way) beneath emails and comments we've finally gotten back to some honest-to-goodness production so we'll have more to show in the near future. We've also been talking to a ton of talented composers, QA, testers and other professionals about bringing more help on board.
Update #6: First of all: 400%. Unbelievable.So we've just announced a veritable avalanche of new collaborators: Austin Wintory (composer of Journey) for music, Kpow Audio (sound team on LA Noire), Powerhouse Animation (Epic Mickey, DC Universe, and others) for animation. And a new prize tier! MADNESS. Check out Update #6!
Update 7: 500% at the start of our last week! Have we mentioned thank you?? Austin himself has a special message that we've shared in a video on our latest update. He's offering a mind-boggling array of musical prizes to help us afford an all-out full orchestral score. Check out the latest update!