Spryke - an immersive, meticulously crafted platformer
Spryke - an immersive, meticulously crafted platformer
A deeply crafted platformer about a deep sea cyberfish out of water. Think Super Meat Boy meets Rayman meets Finding Dory!
A deeply crafted platformer about a deep sea cyberfish out of water. Think Super Meat Boy meets Rayman meets Finding Dory! Read more
About this project
Get current Spryke info here:
The campaign is over. Spryke is not over!
So, our Kickstarter campaign is over. We failed to make the target, yet enjoyed many smaller successes along the way.
We received many comments from backers and interested parties praising Spryke for its high production values, pretty art style, and positive message. We received a number of press write-ups, including the Cliqist article that declared that Spryke deserves to be the next iconic platforming star.
Our Kickstarter campaign dove-tailed with our booth at PAX Aus, which was a great success. Many people played and loved the game. Our speedrunning contest really got people excited. We received a lot of varied feedback, though the following three major points kept coming up:
- The controls are really good. We love how smooth and tight they are. When I die it never feels like the game's fault but my own
- The amount of visual detail is really impressive - Spryke is clearly a labour of love. It's a charming game.
- The music and sound is excellent
So while the past month has taught us that Kickstarters are really hard, it's also taught us that we're onto a good thing, and that there's a market out there waiting to enjoy Spryke. We feel that a community has begun to galvanise around it, comprised of those who have backed us and/or those who enjoyed playing it at PAX Aus.
Production on Spryke will continue, and we'll find a way to make it happen! We're considering a future, smaller, kickstarter campaign, and/or a few other options. Keep track of where Spryke is at - now and in the future - by connecting with us here:
Imagine a game from the golden era of 2D platformers - a time of unbridled creativity and demanding challenge - but with cutting edge production values, more finesse than was ever possible then, and today's gameplay innovations. Spryke is the sort of gorgeous, immersive 2D platformer that a kid in the 80s could only dream of playing!
At its core, Spryke is a skill-based platformer that builds on the formula of tough, no-nonsense games like Super Meat Boy. Its fast, smooth controls provide an agile and joyous sense of movement, while gorgeous graphics and meticulous animation will immerse you in a luscious sci-fi world like no other.
We're shooting high, and aiming to make one of the most remarkable platformers of this generation, but we need your help! Please become a backer and pre-order your copy, along with some awesome backer-exclusive rewards! Remember, Kickstarter is all or nothing - if we don't meet our target, we don't get anything. So please pledge! :)
Meet Spryke: a deep sea cyberfish who must skillfully navigate an enigmatic and dangerous overworld armed only with her speed, agility and insta-bubble. No obstacle will stand in Spryke’s way in this fast-paced journey of self-discovery where every split-second counts!
The Spryke playable demo is here! Download it here, and experience Spryke for yourself! The demo showcases about 15 levels, across 4 different worlds!
FAST-PACED PLATFORMING ACTION: Snappy level design, tight controls and instant respawn work together to provide a hardcore challenge without the frustration.
DIVE INTO A LUSH & RICH UNIVERSE: A level of visual detail and intricacy rarely seen in indie games which brings Spryke’s universe to life. You will journey through a cartoony scifi saga full of strange creatures, stunning locales, and uncompromising animation.
INSTA-BUBBLE: Float through the air using your own momentum with a unique bubble mechanic that feels super satisfying to use.
MASTERY AWAITS: Every moment counts as the Sporalium evaporates in each level. You’ll always be rewarded for perfecting your runs.
NON-LINEAR PROGRESSION: Finding a level too hard? No problem! A highly granular progression system means that you'll always have multiple paths to choose from.
A WEALTH OF SECRETS & UNLOCKABLES: The world is full of secrets and hard-to-reach resources. Find them to unlock sections of your mysterious new home base and learn more about the world above.
Volnaiskra’s mission is to capture the playfulness and rewarding exploration of 90s platformers such as Commander Keen 4, and combine it with uncompromising animation techniques inspired by animated classics such as Disney’s Fantasia. Spryke's modern influences include the tough-as-nails gameplay of Super Meat Boy, and the cartoony exuberance of the recent Rayman games.
The name of my game design studio “Volnaiskra” is an imagined ancient Slavic word borrowed from my Slavic (Polish) heritage. It combines the words Volna (“free” and “slow”) and Iskra (“spark”).
These qualities have driven the creation of Spryke, and are evident in its originality, the patience and commitment that are behind its meticulous production, and a love of fun that has fuelled the creation of this beautiful game.
Spryke's very own alien alphabet was also inspired by my Slavic heritage, and is based on an ancient Slavic Glagolitic script. The image below shows a prayer in this script tattooed on my arm.
The alphabet, called Sprykski, has 52 letters, numbers, punctuation, 4 different styles, and even comes as a fully-kerned, downloadable freeware font! It is scattered throughout the in-game world of Spryke, enriching its lore. Keen-eyed players can even use it to their advantage in locating secrets!
Deep in the ocean abyss live the Sporala - a gentle fish-like species. Far above them, the Axonyke's majestic civilisation sprawls the overworld. The two species live so far apart that they're barely aware of each other.
Yet one girl was born a hybrid: half Sporala, half Axonyke.
Growing up, Spryke's hybrid body struggled with the intense pressure of the deep oceans. Strange and distant voices haunted her dreams and she became frustrated by her differences.
Our story begins during a swimming competition. Just as Spryke is yet again being outswum by her pure Sporala peers, a colossal earthquake erupts -- sending an unprecedented downpour of Axonyke debris into the ocean depths.
Among the deluge looms a mysterious structure. As Spryke and her friends investigate, the Sporala quickly realise they are unable to survive in its waterless chambers.
But not only can Spryke survive in this newfound environment... she can thrive! In here, she's fast and agile -- and she loves it! With a sense of newfound freedom, she quickly claims the structure as her home base.
It's here that you'll begin your adventure with Spryke as she sets out to uncover what's been going on in the mysterious Axonyke world above...
As composers and sound designers we are aiming to match the rich visual content of Spryke with an equally compelling audio world.
The fast-paced gameplay is matched by a lush, driving electronic soundtrack that features tracks crafted to match the unique character of each world. Wordless female vocals weave in and out of the music, adding an ethereal, alien ingredient to the overall effect. The music nods to Spryke’s platformer lineage with its regular use of retro-futuristic sounds and instruments, while being grounded in a contemporary sound.
We have been conscious of striking a balance between music that complements the gameplay while still being able to stand alone as an engrossing listen on its own terms. Music that takes a backseat where necessary but also steps forward to shine when appropriate.
As with the development of all other elements of Spryke, much time has gone into looking for and finding exactly what works for the game. Many drafts have been written and re-written as we trialled a wide variety of tempos, styles, instrument sounds and techniques. What you hear in the soundtrack is music that has been steadily refined over a long period of time.
- Kaleidoscope Audio
Over the decades, I’ve honed many creative skills and mastered many software programs. But I believe that my greatest asset as an artist is my drive and persistence, and I tirelessly strive for excellence in every aspect of my work.
Spryke is packed with gorgeous attention to detail which makes this game so rewarding to play. For example, take these bubbles:
They aren't just circles... they wobble, quiver, and veer side to side along trigonometric curves. They slowly diverge and converge. They break into smaller bubbles as Spryke springs through them -- all which make them believably affected by player movement.
This meticulous attention to detail and persistence is what makes the bubbles in Spryke look awesome and addictively fun to jump around in! And it's why the different worlds in Spryke all look and feel so good! I’m not uber talented or special, but I do work bloody hard to make sure that every element in this game is dripping with the love I have for my craft … and maybe just a little bit of obsession :)
Spryke is made in Clickteam Fusion -- a visual, syntax-free programming environment that is perfect for an artistic, holistic Right-Brainer like me. It has been used to produce hit indie games such as Five Nights’ at Freddy’s, The Escapists, and Heart Forth Alicia -- among others.
The Clickteam community is a passionate and incredibly supportive one -- and it’s been my pleasure to give back to the community throughout Spryke’s development. For example, I’ve freely released the input and debugging system I developed for Spryke, called VACCiNE.
I’m also paying a programmer to develop an extension enabling FMOD in Fusion, which I’ll make freely available to the community as soon as it’s ready. So the support you give Spryke will benefit more than just Spryke -- you’ll potentially be helping future Clickteam Fusion games, too!
Spryke plays great with a keyboard -- but like many fast paced platformers, it's even more fun with a gamepad ... taking advantage of a gamepad's analog controls for extra finesse of movement.
For the absolute premium experience, you can get the Limited Edition Spryke Elite gamepad, available only to kickstarter backers (tiers “pathfinder” and above). This is quite simply the coolest gamepad you'll ever own!
The Xbox One Elite Controller is the most premium gamepad on the market -- featuring exceptional build quality, fantastic hand feel, and swappable components so you can customise it to your individual hand shape and play style.
This Limited Edition Spryke version decks it out even further with professional grade custom shell artwork, glow in the dark metallic components, and a deluxe heavy duty case.
The Collector's Edition will be the ultimate edition of Spryke. It will include a physical copy of the game in beautiful, premium packaging, a full-color art and lore book signed by members of the art team, a physical copy of the soundtrack signed by members of the music team, exclusive in-game cosmetic content for your home base, a guide to the writing systems of Spryke's universe, a Spryke silicon slapband, and a twist-action Spryke USB keyring! And maybe some more goodies thrown in for good measure ;)
Since the saturation of Steam began a few years ago, it’s been very clear to me that the only way I will succeed as a game developer is to create a truly standout game that people can fall in love with. “Good” stopped cutting it long ago. Even “great” no longer does.
So the past 2.5 years have been about me putting my money where my mouth is and proving that I have what it takes to make an exceptional game. I believe I’ve achieved that now: Spryke looks gorgeous, sounds amazing, and is a blast to play. We'll make a demo available soon, and we'll be showing Spryke at PAX Aus in November.
But getting here required putting my butt on the line. I’ve worked for over 2 years full time on Spryke, which meant forsaking a secure income and dipping heavily into our family’s life savings. My amazing wife has supported me wholeheartedly the whole time, while our 3-year-old daughter has more or less grown up with Spryke as a sibling!
I have many of the skills required to make Spryke the exceptional game it needs to be -- but in those areas where I’m unskilled (certain specialist programming tasks) or mediocre (sound design), my policy has been to always hire top-notch professionals ... and they don’t come cheap.
So now is the next and final step of Spryke’s journey. I come to you, the public, to show you what the Spryke team is capable of. With your support, we can continue working on Spryke, with the high quality we’ve shown you as merely a baseline. If our target is met, I can continue devoting all of my time to this game that I love so much, and I can continue to hire exceptional people to help me make it even better!
I’m Dave Bleja, the creator of Spryke. Driven by an innate sense of creativity, appreciation of art, and love for fine details, I’ve spent over a decade working as an animator, illustrator, multimedia developer and designer. In 2014, I took a risk and quit my career to pursue my dream of making an immersive, deeply crafted platformer.
Aimee Burslem is Spryke’s Character and Concept Artist. Equipped with a greylead pencil, Aimee specialises in imagining environments and characters that are loaded with personality and adventure. She is responsible for creating the game's small-but-determined protagonist, Spryke, and the concept art for various other characters and worlds that feature in this action-packed game!
Michael Trott is a composer and sound designer based in Melbourne, Australia and is also one half of game audio studio Kaleidoscope Audio. He is an avid gamer and loves creating interesting and novel video game audio. When he’s not writing original music for various projects, Michael can be found out and about recording interesting and unique sounds to supplement his ever-increasing library of source material for sound design.
Ade Vincent is a composer and performer, and the other half of Kaleidoscope Audio. He fronts and writes music for indie pop band The Tiger & Me, writes art music for the concert hall, and writes music for screen. His music has been heard on television, radio, major music festivals, concert halls and the cinema screen, and his commissioned work for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will be premiered in 2017. He has a Masters in Composition from The University of Melbourne where he now lectures.
Wren Brier has been working as a professional in the game industry for four years. Most of that time was spent at Halfbrick -- working on the studio’s flagship titles Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja. Wren works primarily in 2D, specializing in character and asset illustration, pixel art and UI. She is currently working as a freelancer.
Adam Waryszak has spent 15 years programming in Clickteam engines. When he’s not out saving the world, he likes experimenting with game design and advanced techniques related to the moving image. You’ll often find him in his natural habitat drinking coffee and thinking about whether to arrange his books alphabetically or by subject.
Spryke’s current build is a well polished and fully featured vertical slice with all major components built, so we have a good idea of how long every piece of the puzzle takes, and how much it costs. Based on costs thus far, and on what we know still needs to be done, this is how we plan to portion the Kickstarter revenue:
How you can help
If you believe in Spryke half as much as we do, then please help us get the word out about the kickstarter campaign! Here are 5 things you can do that would make a difference for us:
1 - Back us - Choose one of our awesome rewards and back Spryke yourself!
2 - Tell your friends to back us - Know someone who you think might like Spryke? Send them here!
3 - Like our Facebook Page
4 - Follow our Twitter
5 - Join our Thunderclap campaign
Risks and challenges
Though I have years of experience in many of the facets that make up Spryke -- design, programming, animation, graphics -- this is the first time I’ve put those skills together to create a commercial game. Naturally, I was concerned about whether I would have what it took to see my vision through.
So I’ve taken no chances and made it a point to create a polished, full featured vertical slice before coming to Kickstarter, to demonstrate to myself and others that every major facet of the game is within my ability to do, and to do well. When I’ve felt that my skills aren’t up to par in a particular area, I’ve made it a policy to hire people who are top notch experts in their fields.
Every major component of Spryke has already been robustly scoped, built, and streamlined -- including the engine, gameplay, animation workflow, savegame storage, and so on. There’s still a lot of work to be done in terms of content and polish, but the hard, structural stuff is behind us.
Volnaiskra is ultra careful about data storage. All files and assets are backed up to the cloud daily, and backups are regularly made and kept in multiple physical locations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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