No Land for Legends (Canceled)
Australian Fantasy-Western told in two parts: a feature film and an adventure-heist video game.
No Land for Legends (Canceled)
Australian Fantasy-Western told in two parts: a feature film and an adventure-heist video game.
VIDEO GAME TRAILER
No Land for Legends: Kings of Dust
No Land for Legends is a pair of Australian Fantasy-Westerns- a feature film and a heist adventure game. The two stories stand alone, but are connected. Both are set within an alternate, mythical version of 19th-century Australia, where the Outback is a land of adventure and bloodshed, wonder and death.
The film takes place in 1899 as the Outback begins to collapse. A young bounty hunter captures her childhood hero, The Legend, and they partner up to retrieve his legendary treasure, hidden deep within the mystical, deadly Outback.
The game, No Land for Legends: Kings of Dust, is set approximately twenty years earlier, when both the Outback and The Legend are in their glorious prime. As The Legend, you must assemble a motley team of outlaws, cutthroats and misfits to execute the biggest heist the world has ever seen.
While No Land for Legends will be a more personal, Spaghetti Western-tinted fantasy-drama, Kings of Dust is a Western heist complete with swashbuckling adventure.
Despite their distinctive tones, both parts represent a rich world, just at starkly separate times.
Our alternate, late-1800s Australia is a little different to that of reality. The Outback in the continent’s centre is a wondrous place where fortunes are made, prehistoric behemoths still roam the land, and magic becomes reality.
All of this is fuelled by a newly-discovered, incredibly powerful, energy-producing mineral, found only within the Outback. A gold rush grips Australia, as colonial powers battle to claim ownership of a region once considered empty, and towns of hopeful prospectors pop up overnight. Bandits and bounty hunters flood the Outback, grasping for some of the fantastic wealth, the most famous of whom is The Legend. His exploits are so well-known that they have spread across the world, in penny dreadfuls, dime store novels, and operettas.
It is in this frenzied boom period that the game, Kings of Dust, is set.
Twenty years later, massive mining companies have depleted the Outback, and it is becoming unsustainable and uninhabitable. An exodus ensues, as many mines are closed and boom towns become ghost towns. Meanwhile, colonial armies are locked in a bloody stalemate over the carcass of a once-vibrant world.
Even more alarmingly, the Outback is collapsing. Its ecosystem is haywire, entire bodies of water vanish, and the deeper into its heart adventurers travel, the more time, space and reality disintegrates.
No Land for Legends, the feature film, takes place in this land of slow apocalypse, in the long shadow of glories past.
As inhabitants flee the Outback, whispers emerge that The Legend has resurfaced. Having vanished twenty years ago, people become certain that he has returned to claim his long-lost treasure.
Like hundreds of thousands of children, The Bounty Hunter grew up with tales of The Legend's exploits. Stories filled with brave rescues and daring escapes made him a beacon of heroism for her. She clung to this image throughout her harsh childhood in the declining Outback frontier.
However, her environment ultimately taught her to mistrust lofty ideals, and look out for herself. When The Legend's enormous reward is reinstated, she jumps at the chance to track him down.
Upon capturing The Legend, she finds a man barely recognisable from his reputation. Disappointed, The Bounty Hunter will turn him in for the reward, until he offers her a bargain. In exchange for his freedom, he will guide her to the location of his mythical treasure, in the heart of the Outback, and split it with her.
Uneasy, but tempted by promises of untold riches, The Bounty Hunter accepts. She also knows that the Outback has changed drastically since The Legend departed, and he will need her help to navigate. The two partner up with rival gunmen in hot pursuit.
They must survive through a land full of bandits, opposing soldiers, unnatural phenomena, and an increasingly unreliable partnership.
We want to fill the world with the kind of colourful, eccentric figures that populate Spaghetti Westerns. However, with a limited budget, much of this rogue’s gallery will be entirely non-speaking roles.
No Land for Legends will be built around a core trio, all of whom will represent our themes in different ways.
The Bounty Hunter – A survivor, she is among the first generation of settlers to grow up entirely in the mystical Outback. She doesn’t know of a time without wonders and bloodshed, and grew up idolizing the types of outlaws she now hunts down, especially The Legend.
The Legend – A former bandit, and once the most famous figure in the Outback, his reputation spread across the world in increasingly fictionalized, exaggerated accounts. He vanished for twenty years, and has now returned to reclaim his lost treasure and reputation. Time may have caught up with him, despite his refusal to accept it.
The Deacon – Amidst the collapsing natural world and disintegrating rule of law within the Outback, a terrifying figure walks tall. Those fleeing the region whisper of him in hushed tones usually afforded to a childhood terror or a prophet. More shadow and fable than man, he leads a band of outcasts in a path of hell fire across the waning land.
Parent/Child Relationships & growing up – The Bounty Hunter once revered the Legend, but is disappointed when confronted with his flawed humanity. Can she accept him as a man, rather than a reputation? Meanwhile, the Legend refuses to acknowledge anything has changed since his prime, and struggles to overcome his new place in the world.
Reputation & self image - All of the major characters are motivated by fear: of being forgotten, of dying alone, of showing weakness to others. Their reputation among other people drives their actions far more than they’d care to admit.
Greed – The Outback's devastation- and that of virtually everyone still in it- has been brought on by an insatiable desire for more.
No Land for Legends is most directly influenced by Spaghetti Westerns, particularly those of Sergio Leone. We also love the work of Sergio Sollima (such as The Big Gundown and Face to Face) and Sergio Cobucci (Django and Compañeros).
More broadly, we’ll be incorporating visual strokes from a huge variety of films we admire, from The Lord of the Rings to Beasts of the Southern Wild to There Will Be Blood.
No Land for Legends: Kings of Dust is a single-player, story-based adventure game that will be released for Windows, Linux and OSX. It will be available as a DRM-free download through the project website, and hopefully also through Steam.
You are The Legend, a Jesse James-like outlaw whose adventures have been published (and embellished) around the globe.
You hear of an enormous prize at a mine in the heart of the Outback. Naturally, you have to steal it.
The treasure is impossibly well-guarded, and even if you manage to capture it, you will need to escape with it, through hundreds of miles of hostile territory.
To have any chance, you need to gather a crew of the most talented, shrewd, and dangerous criminals in the Outback.
Travel across the land, encountering adventures and puzzles.
Each crew member has a specialized skill, from safe-cracking to marksmanship.
Choose your team carefully. Are you willing to work with the worst people if they’re the best at what they do? Will they turn on you later?
Finally, when your crew is as motley as it'll get, go for the prize and forever etch your names in history!
Any good heist needs specialists, and the Outback is teeming with them. You’ll need to comb the vast landscape for a band of lock-picks, safe-crackers, inside men, forgers and lightning-fast guns. Many of them are outlaws and fugitives who know how to stay hidden, so you’ll have to track them down. Enlist them or bring them in- dead or alive- and put their bounty to good use.
Kings of Dust will be very heavily story-based, so we want to make player choices count. Although some events will be unalterable, the story will branch out in different directions depending on your decisions.
You’ll be able to select specialists for your crew from a range of potentials. Don’t think one explosives expert is reliable? Don’t hire him. Morally conflicted about a sniper’s murderous past? Turn her in to the law for a sizeable bounty that you can spend on the heist.
To find your team, you’ll have to track them at the far corners of The Outback. You’ll need to think quickly to survive the deadly centre, and make cunning choices. Picking the right crew will determine your success and survival.
We want to ensure that the puzzles won't be pace killers or simple pixel hunts. Your ability to solve them will help shape the direction your story takes, but we don't want them to block your path in a frustrating way.
The Legend is famed for his silver tongue, so your choices extend to dialogue. The more persuasive you are with candidates, the more enthusiastic they’ll be in joining your scheme.
Interface & Inventory
You’ll have a limited amount of ammunition (including alchemical rounds) and other resources (including all-important whiskey). Use them wisely on your long trek across the Outback.
Action & Gunplay
The Outback is a frequently unfriendly place, and you'll encounter desperate folks who want the prize for themselves, aim to capture you for a bounty, or who just don't like your face.
Kings of Dust will feature Spaghetti Western-style shootouts and showdowns. They'll be used sparingly, but we want them to drip with the kind of tension for which those scenes are so well loved.
Some action will be extremely sudden, amidst dialogue, similar to Dragon Age's 'murder knife'.
Stakes & Risks
Given its smaller scale, many game events will be completely scripted, but it’s crucial to us that mistakes and missteps lead to actual fail-states. With the risk of failure or death, the Outback will feel like a truly dangerous place, so your experience will be far more immersive.
Our references stretch from older point-and-clicks, such as the Sierra adventure games, though to dialogue-heavy classics, all the way up to inventive modern spins on the genre, like Kentucky Route Zero.
Mechanically, we’re roughly emulating the fail-states of Broken Sword, with visual storytelling borrowed from graphic novels. Our branching-path narrative takes cues from Bioware games and ultimately, choose-your-own-adventure novels.
For approximate foreign currency equivalents of all reward levels, check the reward list to the right of this page.
*Please note that the Gold Bar USBs are not made of actual gold.
No Land for Legends and Kings of Dust are both being developed and produced by Torchborne Screens, a multimedia company from Adelaide, Australia. We have core team of four, but we're also frequent collaborators with several local creatives.
Collectively, our team members are experienced in a huge range of relevant areas, including:
- Film screenwriting
- Game writing
- Film direction
- Production (for both films and games)
- Game design
- Sound design (for both films and games)
- Music composition
- Production design
- Game art
- Costume design
- Stunt co-ordination and performance
- And much more.
For such a huge undertaking as the No Land for Legends project, we're requesting only the bare minimum funding to create a truly memorable film and game. Although we aim to produce as powerful an experience as possible for you, we've worked out ways to manage this at a (relatively) low cost.
To give you some idea of how we'll be budgeting funds, we've included a graph below.
We have been working on No Land For Legends for some time now, and decided it was time to advance the project to its next stage. For the film, we’re currently at an early pre-production phase, having completed screenplay drafts, some technical planning, preliminary scouting, and other tentative production tasks. However, a feature film will require actors, transportation, equipment, and all kinds of other ingredients that will be impossible without funding. For the game, we’re only requesting enough to enable us to finish it as quickly as possible, and to hire talented collaborators to help out with elements such as art and music.
We also love that Kickstarter allows us to grow a community for both projects. Although we have a strong vision for No Land for Legends, your voice, opinions, and suggestions will undoubtedly help to improve both film and game.
Risks and challenges
In film production and game development, unexpected turns can derail even the best-laid plans. However, by setting a realistic target for release (late 2019), we have tried to address the strong potential for over-promising. Our time frame should give us enough room to complete all of the requisite jobs for both projects.
Importantly, at any given time we’ll have a number of concurrent tasks that require attention, from writing to programming to costume design, so bottle-necking is unlikely. We also intend to release the game in stages, so that you can start the experience as soon as possible.
Given the potential for unavoidable occurances such as illness or bad weather to delay a shoot, we can’t guarantee absolute adherence to the timeline. Although we won’t compromise the quality of either project for deadlines, we will be fighting tooth-and-nail to meet them. If we seem to be falling short, we’ll hold ourselves accountable and rapidly notify you.
Our budget covers production costs almost exclusively, and the only money going to the core team will cover living expenses during the actual film shoot. We have carefully plotted our expenditure, and have attempted to account for any unexpected costs or fees by making the film and game relatively scalable. Any potential blows to the budget will not affect our central stories and experiences.
As a team, we have never attempted a complete video game or feature film. However, collectively we have considerable experience with the many elements and departments that go into them. No one is more critical of our work than us, and we have always tried to hold ourselves to a high standard.
In the past, for even small projects we’ve story-boarded, created pre-visualisation videos for every shot and image, test-screened, timed out production days down to the minute, and conducted all kinds of other logistical checks to keep everything focused.
We won’t be satisfied unless we’re genuinely proud of the material that we deliver to you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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