Since my last post about Kickstarter projects gained quite a bit of traction I thought it might be sensible to have a look at a few projects in a bit more detail. This is going to be a regular series, trying to highlight a few gems along the way and hopefully help these projects in gaining backers and ultimately become successful. The first project I would like to draw your attention to is Days of Dawn, an RPG from German studio BumblebeeGames.
In a nutshell, Days of Dawn is an old-school roleplaying game set in the land of Kalea. You and up to 4 companions experience a beautifully rendered world and experience a powerful and non-linear adventure through ancient ruins, gloomy woods and hidden cities to unravel the mystery of a long forgotten past and discover the source of arcane powers.
Tell me a Story
The story sounds promising: the shepherd Caril is on the run from prosecuters of a girl he recently saved. On the run Caril learns that this girl, named Dawn, has been experiencing these powers for many years now, unable to control them in times of emotional stress. As they approach a nearby town, the two will soon learn that Dawn is not the only one.
I caught up with Tassilo, the project lead behind the game. He elaborated a bit more on the story and its non-linear element:
The story is running along three major storylines that meet at some specific points, which may be experienced from different perspectives. In addition, several of the games’ sidequests are dependent on having specific player-characters. Having Vaithee in your party, for example, will open up a range of quests related to her group of monster hunters, while having the priest in team will open up relations to the church, which will offer other sidequests. Some player-characters can be found on sidequests (but these will be accessible to all player characters).
This is also giving a nice replay value, espescially as even the main storyline is also divided into three paths.
The Magic of Emotions
Unlike other RPGs, emotions are where the magic happens – literally in fact. Emotions are the magic in Days of Dawn…
Every character in the game is influenced by seven emotions: courage, fear, compassion, hatred, joy, grief, and love. Each character in the game has obviously a different state to begin with, but throughout the game these emotions are applied, developed and laid bare to allow for different possibilities of casting magic. For example, a character feeling anger will most likely evoke powers to damage during combat, whereas a compasisonate character will be able to make use of healing and protection.
Sounds just like different magic schools we know and love (or loathe) in other games, however since magic is something new in the world of Days of Dawn, characters will have to learn control these new powers by gaining the ability to direct their emotions over the course of the game. The video below will provide you with a bit more information about this:
Little is yet known about the combat system aside from it being turn-based. We know that tactical depth will be limited as the gameplay is going to be focused on adventure, exploration and dialogue. The team has put a lot of work into the combat system to make if feel fast and fluid, built on a very unique and intuitive interface that is said to work just fine on any kind of device or hardware – be it mouse, controller or via touch.
Personally I’m keen to learn more about this at this stage, purely because we all have seen many systems come (and go) over the years.
One of the features that attract me to kickstarter games next to a story are of course the visuals. Days of Dawn is aiming to pay homage to the 16-bit era using hand-painted and illustrated backgrounds and styles for characters and monsters, giving the game a very unique, personal kind of touch. All in HD of course! Painted by Tyler Edlin, Days of Dawn‘s scenery elements come in ultra-high resolution to provide us with a beautiful gaming experience. Below is a sample of what we might expect:
An open world RPG, a non-linear story, beautifully crafted graphics, a custom soundtrack, an emotion based magic system… all of that sounds very ambitious. Too ambitious perhaps? Possibly, possibly not. Looking at the trailers, reading through the kickstarter page and their latest updates you notice thata lot of thought and care has been put into this project.
Personally, up until a week ago I felt that the project was facing a similar fate as the (cancelled) Thorvalla project, as I felt that information about the project arrived in small chunks and provided just about enough information to keep me interested, but not hooked. Thankfully, as of update #12 things really started to take form and turned me into a backer.
Days of Dawn shapes up to be an exciting, interesting and involving project, the non-linear story sounds amazing, the new magic system and implementation of a very unique turn-based combat system, together with a beautifully rendered art style really make me want to play this game.