We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be showing off Cosmic Star Heroine at Sony’s Playstation Experience convention in December! If you’re attending, be sure to stop by our booth where you’ll be able to play part of the game, say hi, and talk to us (both of us will be there) and ask questions. And for everyone who is unable to attend, we’ll be sure to upload screenshots & footage soon after the event!
All of our games are currently participating in the Steam Halloween sale!
I believe this is the cheapest Penny Arcade 3 & 4 have ever been on Steam.
Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium - £77k (£25k goal). 18 days left. Art book with information about a lot of Amiga games. Previous kickstarter (Commodore 64) raised £35k.
VIDEO GAMES LIVE: LEVEL 4! – $94k ($150k goal). 35 days left. Goal to create a 4th album of video game music. Previous kickstarter for #3 raised $285k.
RETRO Video Game Magazine Year Two – $19k ($20k goal). 24 days left. Video Game magazine focused on retro games with content from many well established writers. Previous kickstarter for year 1 raised $75k.
Rogue Wizards – $37k ($70k goal). 18 days left.
Ethereal – $3k ($17k goal). 21 days left.
The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizza Boy – $10k ($30k goal). 14 days left.
The Flame in the Flood – $200k ($150k goal). 13 days left.
Impact Winter - £10k (£95k goal). 17 days left.
Black The Fall - £17k (£25k goal). 6 days left.
Battle Chef Brigade – $79k ($38k goal). 3 days left.
Bedlam – $155k ($130k goal). 20 HOURS left.
Recently Completed Kickstarters:
That Which Sleeps – $85k ($12k goal).
Elegy for a Dead World – $72k ($48k goal).
Human Resources – $384k ($1.4 mil goal). Cancelled.
No Pineapple Left Behind – $18k ($35k goal). Failed.
Blossom Tales – $20k ($45k goal). Failed.
Rogue Wizards – $33k ($70k goal). 25 days left. Rogue-like + town sim.
Ethereal – $2k ($17k goal). 28 days left. Puzzle/Platformer with a spirit going through memories.
The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizza Boy – $6k ($30k goal). 21 days left. Action/Comedy point & click adventure game based on the comic.
The Flame in the Flood – $173k ($150k goal). 27 days left. Post apocalyptic river journey rogue-lite.
Impact Winter - £8k (£95k goal). 31 days left. Post-apocalyptic ice world survival RPG.
Human Resources – $316k ($1.4 mil goal). 18 days left.
Elegy for a Dead World – $49k ($48k goal). 3 days left.
Black The Fall - £14k (£25k goal). 13 days left.
That Which Sleeps – $60k ($12k goal). 5 days left.
No Pineapple Left Behind – $10k ($35k goal). 13 days left.
Battle Chef Brigade – $64k ($38k goal). 10 days left.
Bedlam – $95k ($130k goal). 7 days left.
Blossom Tales – $20k ($45k goal). 2 HOURS left.
Recently Completed Kickstarters:
Pinball Arcade: The Addam’s Family – $115k ($97k goal).
The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizza Boy – $3k ($30k goal). 28 days left. Action/Comedy point & click adventure game based on the comic.
The Flame in the Flood – $118k ($150k goal). 27 days left. Post apocalyptic river journey rogue-lite.
Impact Winter - £4k (£95k goal). 31 days left. Post-apocalyptic ice world survival RPG.
Human Resources – $240k ($1.4 mil goal). 25 days left.
Elegy for a Dead World – $30k ($48k goal). 10 days left.
Black The Fall - £10k (£25k goal). 20 days left.
That Which Sleeps – $44k ($12k goal). 12 days left.
No Pineapple Left Behind – $8k ($35k goal). 13 days left.
Battle Chef Brigade – $58k ($38k goal). 17 days left.
Bedlam – $68k ($130k goal). 14 days left.
Pinball Arcade: The Addam’s Family – $108k ($97k goal). 2 days left.
Blossom Tales – $17k ($45k goal). 7 days left.
Recently Completed Kickstarters:
Pathologic – $333k ($250k goal).
Adventures of Pip – $65k ($40k goal).
Cube and Me – $7k ($15k goal). Failed.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to make a multi-class system, but I think these are generally sound design decisions if you want to make a multi-class system as seen in many RPGs (like FFT, Blue Dragon, Bravely Default, Wild Arms XF, etc).
1) Use slots to equip secondary abilities & passives into, thus requiring the player to make choices rather than just allow everything learned to be used at all times (encouraging extreme grinding for ultimate characters).
2) Provide enough free slots to allow creativity and prevent feeling trapped into 1 or 2 best abilities.
3) Make it so that classes give all of their currently learned abilities and passives for free while currently equipped.
4) Ensure that classes aren’t useless at base level, thus allowing for late-game experimentation & emergency switching if the player’s planned strategy fails.
5) Reveal limited previews of future abilities to be learned thus allowing for planning. However, don’t do total preview to prevent the player from becoming bored with the job system early on (maybe just the next ability to be learned is revealed).
6) Give all characters innate attributes that distinguish them from other characters, regardless of class. Examples: stat differences (major stat differences, not just mild variations), unique usable items & equipment, exclusive jobs & abilities, etc.
7) Avoid making the innate character attributes & abilities too powerful – you want them to make each character feel unique, rather than invalidate the rest of the class system.
8) Avoid truly broken combinations – primarily combinations that render the player essentially invincible or able to take infinite numbers of turns or win every battle with no risk of defeat.
9) “Sort of” broken combinations, on the other hand, are to be encouraged since they make the player feel powerful & clever for discovering them.
10) Design unique classes – not just the standard Warrior/Mage/Healer generic classes.
11) Don’t overwhelm the player. If you give the player too many options, too quickly, they’ll just pick a few favorites and ignore the rest.
12) If equipment is class-specific, save class equipment load-outs to avoid having to spend too much time re-equipping.
13) Have fun!
Human Resources – $118k ($1.4 mil goal). 32 days left. Robots vs Lovecraft RTS from Planetary Annihilation developer.
Elegy for a Dead World – $21k ($48k goal). 17 days left. Creative writing game from Dejobaan Games & Popcannibal.
Black The Fall - £7k (£25k goal). 27 days left. Cinematic 2D platformer ala Another World & Limbo.
That Which Sleeps – $31k ($12k goal). 18 days left.
No Pineapple Left Behind – $5k ($35k goal). 20 days left.
Battle Chef Brigade – $50k ($38k goal). 24 days left.
Bedlam – $60k ($130k goal). 21 days left.
Pinball Arcade: The Addam’s Family – $85k ($97k goal). 9 days left.
Blossom Tales – $15k ($45k goal). 14 days left.
Cube and Me – $5k ($15k goal). 1 day left.
Pathologic – $284k ($250k goal). 3 days left.
Adventures of Pip – $57k ($40k goal). 1 day left.
Recently Completed Kickstarters:
Band Saga – $31k ($29k goal).
Following is a discussion we had way back on July 2nd, 2010 where we were discussing what our next project should be while we were in the middle of making Cthulhu Saves the World. Here you can see some of the first hints of what would later become Cosmic Star Heroine.
Note, the following discussion has been edited & abridged for clarity (cleaned up the grammar & spelling, removed some off-topic discussions).
Robert: Are you leaning towards anything for our next project?
Bill: Not yet no, what about you? Oh quick question – are all the alien cats in Cthulhu green? What color should the boss alien cat be?
Robert: Yeah, probably make them all the same color.
Bill: Okay, so green?
Robert: As for our next project, I don’t know. Part of me is leaning towards “Hey, lets try to go XBLA!” And part of me is leaning towards “XBLIG is pretty nice and let’s us do stuff fast.”
Bill: Well.. I think it’s too early to go XBLA
Robert: Yeah, you’re probably right.
Robert: On actual game ideas… I’m tempted to make a Phantasy Star-esque RPG next. Space Opera with magic.
Bill: Sounds good. I’m on board with it already.
Robert: Alternatively a cyberpunk RPG could go over well.
Bill: Phantasy Star style RPGs… have there been many recently?
Robert: Good ones? No.
Bill: Well there you go. I think Phantasy Star style gameplay is still relatively untapped.
Bill: Hey I was thinking the other day… it seems that 99% of RPGs are either “Fantasy” (swords, wizards, warriors, princesses, castles, kings), or they are Sci-Fi (guns, aliens, space ships, etc). There has got to be more settings that are not fully explored…
Robert: True, true.
Bill: …and post-apoc Western RPGs.
Robert: I played one RPG in Chinese… that was a mermaid RPG
[Note: Heroine Anthem 1 & 2]
Bill: Well anyway, I guess I was just wondering… with so many Sword/Fantasy and Spaceship/SciFi and Post-Apoc “modern” RPGs you’d think there would be more in other settings.
Robert: Well, a modern day RPG would potentially be good.
Robert: Earthbound has a very devoted fanbase. As do the Persona games.
Robert: And other than those, there’s pretty much nothing in a real world setting. TWEWY.
Bill: Hahaha. Nice. Couldn’t remember the name.
Robert: Yeah, that one too. Hehe. I’ve had like 5 ideas for less used ideas for RPG settings and then I immediately think of a game that used that. Like I was going to say, Detective RPG! But then you have the PA games & the later SMT: Devil Summoner games. Or greek RPG!
[Note: Soon after this discussion, PA contacted us to finish their RPG series. The results were our third & fourth RPGs: Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 & 4]
Robert: But Nintendo just released Glory of Heracles on the DS.
Bill: It doesn’t have to be the first time the setting has been used, just something that is underserved
Bill: Like… when people see another RPG in the sword/castle setting, it takes a little extra something to keep their interest because there has been so many of those.
Robert: I told you about my idea for a movie RPG, right?
Robert: Where you’re a movie director. And each movie you make is its own little mini-RPG scenario. With actors & actresses being your playable characters.
Bill: Oh right.
Robert: And as you “beat” each scenario, depending on how you do, your director gets XP and gains the ability to make more movies.
Bill: Yeah, I remember this.
Robert: Hm… one idea I had that I thought would be kind of cool. Would be that you have an RPG set in a very small location. Like a small rural mountain town where supernatural occurences start to occur. But I guess that’s kind of like Persona.
Robert: But whereas Persona has a very distinct difference between the natural and the supernatural with this, I would have the entire town start getting bizarre and crazy and evil.
Robert: On another note, sports RPGs are pretty popular in Japan, but never show up here. I’ve seen RPGs for soccer as well as baseball. We could do a basketball RPG. 5 players on a team makes for a good party size.
Robert: Hm… dinosaur RPG? Can’t say that I’ve ever seen anything like that.
Bill: Sweet. Yeah, something like that.
Robert: Other than that Chrono Trigger segment.
Bill: Eh, it was only a segment.
Robert: Anyway, just a bunch of random suggestions.
Bill: Yeah. Well anyway, the best thing is to just go with whatever you feel would make for a good design and a good story.
Robert: I will say that although I’ve been pushing for a zombie apocalypse RPG, seeing as how our first two games have both been horror themed, I think a change of pace would be good.
Bill: Yeah good point.
Robert: Yep. Hm… Ninja RPG!
Robert: I can’t think of any of those other than Inindo and that’s OLD. Or the Naruto RPGs.
Bill: Yeah and sorta kinda Muramasa.
Bill: We might potentially change art style a little as in instead of 16×16 characters, maybe something like 32×16 characters or I don’t know something so that it doesn’t always look like Dragon Quest.
[Note: We meant 16x32. 32x16 would make for very fat characters]
Robert: I’m still leaning towards Space Opera RPG for our next game.
Hi everyone! We’re still plugging away at the vertical slice – almost have all of the systems properly in place and we’re rapidly approaching the point where the assets we want to show off are sufficiently polished and impressive enough to send out into the wild of the Internet for all to see. In the meantime, since we haven’t posted any screenshots for a while, we thought we’d post another one today. Here’s a picture of Dave confounding an enemy with his elite programming skills in a battle in the old abandoned research facility dungeon.
What fresh horrors await our heroes in the darkness? What secrets does this facility hold and were those secrets worth killing for? Stay tuned!
That Which Sleeps – $20k ($12k goal). 25 days left. Basically Cthulhu: The Strategy Game.
No Pineapple Left Behind – $4k ($35k goal). 27 days left. Dark school management sim.
Battle Chef Brigade – $19k ($38k goal). 31 days left. Fantasy cooking competition.
Bedlam – $30k ($130k goal). 28 days left. Post-apocalyptic roguelike-RPG.
Pinball Arcade: The Addam’s Family – $67k ($97k goal). 16 days left.
Blossom Tales – $9k ($45k goal). 21 days left.
Cube and Me – $4k ($15k goal). 8 days left.
Band Saga – $18k ($29k goal). 5 days left.
Pathologic – $246k ($250k goal). 10 days left.
Adventures of Pip – $41k ($40k goal). 8 days left.
Recently Completed Kickstarters:
Noct – $36k CAD ($22k CAD goal).
Moon Hunters – $178k ($45k goal).
Parkitect – $63k CAD ($50k CAD goal).
Ray’s the Dead – $51k ($30k goal).