TEAM FOUR STAR AND SUMOBOY JOIN FORCES
The acclaimed voices behind the Dragon Ball Z Abridged series!
TAPRR is proud to announce that Team Four Star has pledged their support in shedding light on the Anti Bullying movement. Team Four Star, famous for their Dragon Ball Z Abridged series, has amassed an incredible 1.2 million subscribers via their YouTube channel and subsequently hopes that the additional exposure will help crowd fund SumoBoy.
STRETCH GOALS HAVE CHANGED
We want SumoBoy on consoles too!
We have decided to re-organize our Stretch Goals and are proud to announce that if we reach $200,000 in funding, we will be able to bring SumoBoy to the home console! The amount of support we are getting from the public, publishers and development studios from around the world has been incredible! Head on over to the 'Updates' tab for more information.
SUMOBOY ON NATIONAL TV
SumoBoy has literally made national headlines on one of Australia’s major television networks, the ABC.
To be recognized for spreading the Anti-Bullying movement on national television shows the potential of what the wonderful world of gaming is capable of doing.
AN EXCLUSIVE POEM
Voiced by Shane Koyczan!
Hear Shane Koyczan’s exclusive poem in full, as well as a message from one of SumoBoy's producers!
KAERU aka FROGMAN
Creating a concept.
Watch our Lead Artist at work conceptualizing an enemy foe. Also, Narrative Designer, Samantha Wallschlaeger takes you through the thought process behind character creation and where it will appear in the game.
EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT
What have the gaming press been saying about SumoBoy?
We have been featured on over 30 gaming and social websites from around the globe. Here are a few quotes from what people are saying...
Kickstarter's FIRST EVER Story Driven, Anti-Bullying Inspired Video Game!
SumoBoy is a stylized adventure game for PC, Mac, Linux and Mobile, focused on delivering a thoughtful story, colourful characters, a unique art style and an unlikely hero.
Inspired by the emotions associated with bullying and the anti-bullying movement, SumoBoy encourages you to find your voice and to stand up for yourself and others.
Battle mythological monsters and solve intricate puzzles as you navigate the rich and detailed spirit world of Seishin!
Delve into Japanese mythology and folklore and master Sumo moves to defeat the ultimate bully! Only you can find the courage to be a hero!
Experience dynamic and challenging combat in an immersive and stylized journey of discovery! We have crafted this action-oriented gameplay to be reminiscent of a few of our own favourite games, such as the old school Legend of Zelda, Bastion and Diablo III.
Use your Sumo moves inspired by real Sumo techniques to progress through this magical story. Each new ability you learn will enhance your playing experience as you dive deeper into Seishin. Mastering earth-moving skills like the Sumo Stomp can damage or even destroy your enemies completely, move blocks in a puzzle, or break a glass floor. Discover more Sumo move combos to win your battles with the grace of an elite Sumo fighter!
Delve into unique boss battles and use combo moves tailored to defeat each opponent! Every boss battle is different and requires extra special attention. Can you uncover the secret to vanquishing each of Kurai Kami’s formidable minions?
The Heya is the central location in SumoBoy; acting as the game’s hub. Heya contains the portals to every realm in the spirit world (Earth, Wind, Water, Fire and the Void) and the Gate Keeper who guards them. Oji can explore the Heya to buy upgrades, armor, food and potions. There is also a Sumo ring where you can practice your Sumo moves.
NPC's roam the Heya where Oji can interact with them to learn the secrets of SumoBoy!
Hitoshii aka Blade of Balance
Defeat crazed minions and heal damage with Hitoshii, your trusty Blade of Balance. Using two unique modes, your blade can be a weapon of destruction or revitalisation. Will you smite a vicious monster, or dissolve its fear and win it to your cause?
The Sumo Stomp
In keeping with Sumo tradition, Oji can cleanse areas of negative influence and overcome multiple enemies simultaneously. Use this move wisely as it requires a lot of energy.
Oji deploying the Sumo Stomp in-game!
The Sumo Kick
A slow, but powerful special move that deals heavy damage and knocks down enemies.
The Sumo Slap
A fast melee attack that stuns enemies.
Oji showing how a combo move is done; a Sumo Kick followed by the Sumo Slap!
The Sumo Charge
This technique is also known as the 'Belly Bounce' and allows Oji to move rapidly whilst dealing heavy damage to enemies.
You must master all Sumo moves (Stomp, Kick, Slap and Charge) as well as Hitoshii (Blade of Balance) in order to be the ultimate hero!
The spirit realm of Seishin is rich, beautiful and full of secrets waiting to be explored. Inspired by Japanese architecture, nature, and mythology, you will jump into a world of vivid colours and unique characters. Each of Seishin’s five elemental worlds has a distinct look and feel, making each level completely unique.
Solve a dragon’s riddle in the lofty clouds of the Air realm and battle hummingbird moths beneath the canopy of the Earth realm. Explore the desert landscape in the Fire realm and discover the secret behind the mysterious robotic golem. Battle electric eels and mudmen in the Water realm as you free an underwater world from constant earthquakes. Fight your way through the Void realm and navigate your way through Kurai Kami’s traps to put your courage to the test. Only you can uncover all of Seishin’s secrets!
Little Oji has it rough. As an orphan living in the Tohoku Home for Children, he endures daily bullying from the other children. But when he discovers his long-lost mother is actually Kesa, Princess of the Elements from the spirit world of Seishin, his entire life is turned upside down.
Princess Kesa appears before Oji in a dream and pleads for his help—Kurai Kami, a malevolent spirit and shape shifter from the Void, has finally taken control of Seishin. Despite her courageous efforts, the Princess had been captured long ago and taken as a prisoner of Kurai Kami, leaving Oji an orphan when he was just a baby. Yet Kesa has been holding the evil void spirit off all these years, keeping him from reaching the powerful elements and taking control of them.
But Kesa’s power is waning; now her son Oji must take up the mantle and rescue the elements from Kurai Kami’s grasp. Using the Blade of Balance, our hero needs to find his inner strength and battle Kurai Kami’s minions and undo the damage he’s caused to Seishin. Along the way he uncovers the mystery surrounding his father, the famous Sumo warrior called the Man Mountain, and attempts to follow in his footsteps.
Travel with Oji through each elemental realm and set things right. Convince an enormous tree to let go of his greed and calm the tormented soul of a monstrous catfish. Break the cycle of bullying among sky-dwelling dragons while helping a nymph find her voice. Will Oji defeat the ultimate bully and heal the emotional and physical damage done to Seishin? Can he help the poor spirits to discover their inner courage, and can Oji summon his own courage and unleash his potential as heir to the elements? Help Oji on his journey to find his strength and stand up for good!
Our protagonist, Oji, is the epitome of the unlikely hero. As an orphan tormented by bullies, he is far from a traditional video game hero. But that is what makes this game so special; Oji’s greatest attribute is his empathy for those in trouble. His vulnerability and sweet demeanour makes him the perfect hero that symbolises the essence of youthful courage.
Oji’s inner transformation from victim to hero is mirrored by the “healing” of Seishin; as Oji helps the spirits in need and cleanses the realm, he finds his inner strength and overcomes the obstacles in his own life.
As the sole heir to the Princess of the Elements, you become the wielder of the Hitoshii, the Blade of Balance; an ancient magical sword imbued with the power of the elements themselves.
Use the Blade’s two unique modes, love and hate, to defeat evil foes or heal the troubled residents of Seishin. With each element you rescue from Kurai Kami’s grasp, the Blade evolves and takes on a new power. Only you can unleash its true potential to defeat the ultimate bully.
Charged with the protection and stewardship of the elemental realms, the Princess of the Elements is a force of goodness and love. Yet Kurai Kami’s hunger for her power drove her to remain in hiding for years. Despite her attempts to outrun him, Kesa was eventually captured by the evil void spirit and his minions, forcing her to leave her son Oji behind. Now she calls upon the little power she has left to call Oji to action. Armed with her own Blade of Balance, imbued with her elemental powers, Oji has become her only means of freedom. Kesa represents nature in its full power - the warmth and comfort of a summer breeze, the sturdy strength of an ancient oak, and the fierce protectiveness of a mother wolf. Her elemental powers make her a force of both love and courage.
Our villain, Kurai Kami, is a menacing shape-shifter able to take on the form of whatever (or whomever) he desires. A spineless being, he is a void of dark matter held together by nothing but the body armour he snatched from a fallen warrior. His hunger for the elements’ power knows no bounds and he will stop at nothing to take the elements for himself.
Kurai Kami’s main power lies in his ability to see into your inner psyche and find your fears and insecurities. He uses those fears to exploit your weakness and win you over to his side with promises and honeyed words. His symbol, the Great Eye, represents the depth of what he sees within all of us. No one can escape his vision, but with courage we can resist temptation.
The Man Mountain was the greatest Sumo fighter in the mortal world, so it was only natural that Kesa choose him to be her guard during her vulnerable time in the mortal realm. Yet no one expected Kesa and her Sumo warrior to fall in love and have a son, our little protagonist Oji. When tragedy struck, Oji was left without a father and now must piece together what he can learn from those who knew him. Oji learns the story of his father’s Sumo greatness and follows in his footsteps, using Otokoyama’s famous Sumo moves in his quest to save the spirit world.
We believe that sound is just as important as art style and game design and we are committed to delivering a unique and atmospheric soundtrack.
Tanka Poetry by World Renown Poet Shane Koyczan
Here is an exclusive look at the Tanka style poetry that Shane Koyczan will be voicing for SumoBoy!
The world took notice of Shane when his influential, anti-bullying, 'To This Day' video went viral in early 2013 with 12 million views and counting.
Piano Solo by Jeff Broadbent
Award winning composer, Jeff Broadbent, has worked on a variety of video games, ranging from Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Lego: Legends Of Chima Online, Tom Clancy's EndWar Online, I am Alive and Planetside 2.
Power Flute Solo by Sandro Friedrich
Sandro Friedrich is an incredible musician that plays over 200 Ethnic wind instruments. As a studio musician, Sandro has recorded with musicians such as Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings) and Tina Turner. Wind instruments like the sample above will play a pivotal role in conveying emotion to the player.
SumoBoy is being produced by an incredible team whose resumes are backed by AAA video game experience. The majority of our team have worked with, and or alongside, the likes of Konami, Namco Bandai, Warner Brothers, Disney, Animal Logic, DC Comics and Dreamworks.
The entire team at SumoBoy have committed their heart and soul to this project and have also placed their creative reputations on the line to make this game a success.
Now with your help, our loyal backers, we aim to bring back the 2D classical adventure genre to the mainstream. SumoBoy is for the gamer within us all.
Founders of TAPRR, Chris and Rob have had a joint background in online marketing and mobile game distribution for over 10 years. Chris and Rob understand that producing a great title is about setting a vision and pulling together a world class team to execute it.
Credits: 2012 US Olympics BP Ignition Program, Quick Draw and many more.
Henry is a renaissance man of the video game industry. Having over 8 years of experience, Henry has served as a professor of game design for WireGrass, as well as a lead designer for various video game companies. A successful Kickstarter campaign will also aid in Henry’s enormous consumption of Mountain Dew!
Credits: Monster High, Slug Terra and Impossible Pixel.
A master of concept art, Jonathan has worked with many high calibre companies such as Disney and Dreamworks. Jonathan’s versatile experiences in video games and animated TV shows ensure that SumoBoy will be a world that draws you in.
Rarely seen without a drawing pen in his hand, Gareth knows how to breathe life and evoke emotion out every level he designs. Using a unique artistic skill set that sees him sketching with pen and paper first, Gareth’s uncanny ability to craft worlds that compel gamers to explore time and time again will inevitably make SumoBoy an unforgettable experience.
Credits: Halo: CE Anniversary, God Mode, Battle: Los Angeles and Inversion.
An advocate of the Anti-Bullying movement, this AAA video game veteran has worked besides some of the biggest game studios in the world; Microsoft, Konami and Namco Bandai. Due to publisher commitments, this talented individual will be revealed in due course.
Credits: Infinite Crisis, The Lego Movie, The Great Gatsby, Legend of the Guardians, Happy Feet 2 and the Knowing.
When Chris met Oji, it was love at first sight! Chris is an animation guru having worked on many Hollywood blockbuster titles as well as high profile game trailers from DC Comics and Warner Brothers. The passion Chris brings to SumoBoy is unmatched which is fundamental to creating characters that connect with an audience.
Credits: 300, Sucker Punch, Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menance and Australia.
From fog, to smoke, to rain, to god-rays, having Phil’s experience and talent from the long list of Hollywood movies he has worked on can only mean one thing; making SumoBoy an even better atmospheric adventure game.
Credits: Fallout: Lonestar, Dawn of Ascension and Evomon.
Samantha is an award winning screenwriter where her spec script for the Walking Dead was recognised by the National Broadcasting Society. It is our shared belief that great art must be supported by great dialogue in order for a video game to be memorable. Samantha is up to the challenge already giving SumoBoy personality, depth and a reason to play.
Credits: Blood Moon Rising.
Not only does Brian have a cool surname, but he is also a tour de force when it comes to 3D modelling. Bringing Oji to life from 2D to 3D took finesse, patience and passion. Brian has also contributed and consulted on many movies and video games over his career and is passing on his knowledge through his teachings as a Game Design and Animation Instructor at the International Academy of Design and Technology.
Jordan’s love for rigging characters is evident as can be seen in the subtle emotions Oji and the other supporting characters in SumoBoy are able to convey through their facial animations alone. Jordan has worked on a long list of TV commercials where his technical abilities have been acknowledged as an ‘Official Selection’ with the Australian Effects and Animation Festival.
Credits: Labyrinth and Frozen Hearth.
Aaron is an aspiring 3D modeller and already in his short career is a core team member in founding the cult underground hit PC game, Labyrinth. Aaron is enthusiastic, upbeat and committed to aiding in the development of more awesome SumoBoy characters.
Credits: To This Day and We are More.
Shane is a wildly popular spoken word poet who famously opened the 2010 Olympic Games. Shane’s poem, “To This Day,” has a staggering 12 million views on Youtube, cementing himself as the voice of anti-bullying. It is our hope that Shane’s eloquently spoken words help inspire the gamer to think then act, and hopefully empower them with great morals and values that they can use in their lives.
Credits: Planetside 2, Tom Clancy's EndWar Online, I am Alive, Dawngate, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles plus many more.
In 2013, Jeff won Best Original Video game Score for his composition in Planetside 2 at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards! Jeff’s definitive music will give SumoBoy a truly unique soundscape.
Credits: Lord of the Rings Symphony, Total War – Rome II,Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Bodycount and Red Steel.
The SumoBoy team is always thinking outside the box on how to add more emotion into a game. Enter Sandro Friedrich where his resume speaks volumes of his ability. With a body of work like Sandro’s, we are thrilled to have him working on SumoBoy.
Should you chose to pledge and support SumoBoy (do it!), these are the perks we will be offering. Some items are limited in supply so get in quick to avoid disappointment.
As a way to say thank you to our awesome backers, here are some examples of what is on offer...
The button badge is a replica of the same one that Oji wears in-game. Being a unique accessory to Oji and his character; wear it with pride and #StandUp.
Our Lead Artist will be crafting more unique SumoBoy art, we will be revealing these throughout this Kickstarter campaign. Stay tuned to see what other poster art we create.
The SumoBoy art book includes never before seen concept images of characters and levels as well as written commentary from our Lead Artist.
The above lunch box is the same one you see in the debut trailer. How cool are you going to look taking this lunch box to school or work?
Please note that we have ADDED 4 Extra DIGITAL REWARDS! Take a look in the side bar!
As well as our physical rewards, we have a whole heap of digital rewards too. From having your name in our credits, to our Lead Designer tattooing your name on his back!
Making games is amazing, but difficult. The reality is, sometimes we always do not get the chance to create what we envision because of the lack of funds. The creative minds behind SumoBoy have gone as far as they possibly can to make this amazing title. With your help, we can ensure the game gets into your hands sooner rather than later.
What will your money help us accomplish?
The funds gained from our Kickstarter campaign will allow many of our lead developers to focus solely on making SumoBoy a reality. We know how lucky we are to have such a talented team, and we want to take care of them.
A more intensive work schedule
We can all afford to dedicate ourselves completely to SumoBoy and bring the game to you even quicker.
We have some amazing music in the works, but great music costs money. Funding will help us keep the music we have fallen in love with and pay the people making it.
We plan on having voice acting for our in game cut scenes, and we already have some wonderfully talented people to voice our game. But, of course, quality voice acting comes at a price.
SumoBoy utilises an art style that’s breathtaking but expensive. Our blend of 3D and 2D art means we have to go through quite a few steps from concept to playable sprite. We want to bring you stunning worlds and enrich your imagination, and your donations will allow us to do just that.
Risks and challenges
A Social Justice Game?
We know the connotations that come with a social justice game, and we are aware of the risk of becoming a Public Service Announcement (PSA) instead of a fun game. However, we have something to say and we know just the way to say it; with a compelling narrative, fun and challenging gameplay, and a colourful and rich world to explore.
SumoBoy, at its core, is a game about bullying, but it’s also the creation of dozens of game lovers who want to bring you the best and most fulfilling gaming experience possible.
We Are All Over The World!
TAPRR has the unique fortune to be made up of talented individuals from almost every continent in the world. We have designers in America, producers in Australia, artists in England; you name it! ...and we know the problems that this creates (3AM meetings being one of them). Regardless, we are a dedicated and skilled bunch of developers and we think our weakness is also our strength. With people all over the world coming together to make this game, we know we have the best people for the project. Every one of TAPRR’s team member gives a unique viewpoint that makes SumoBoy even better.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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