There are plenty of game projects on Kickstarter these days that sometimes it’s hard to decide which ones are worthwhile investments. Game Muse is here to help with an ongoing series, that will take an in depth look at some of the best projects, Kickstarter has to offer. All the games featured here have the potential to be quality, so we’ll follow each project from start to finish, whether or not they reach their funding goals.
Brockenhaus Studios is a small team, but that hasn’t deterred them from dreaming big.
Sam Broccoli and Rob Visentin are the only members of Brockenhaus, but that hasn’t deterred them from tackling an ambitious project. The pair of college students at Bowdoin College in Maine have shown are on the verge of releasing their first game.
“We’ve been good friends for a while, and as Sam loves fantasy art and I have a passion for programming and gaming, it just kind of naturally happened,” Visentin said. “We talked about possibly collaborating for a few weeks, and then one day just sat down and starting planning.”
Hatcher blends together elements of MMORPG and resource management games. The pair found time between classes to work on the game, with Vinsentin coding much of the client and server software ,while Broccoli did much of the artwork.
Brockenhaus hopes to have the game released on the Apple App Store this May, but they will need funding for new equipment and the cost of a dedicated server or face delays. Visentin and Broccoli turned to Kickstarter for support.
“Kickstarter was recommended to us by friends and family, and we don’t have a lot of experience dealing with venture capitalists,” Visentin said. “We’ve been reaching out to our personal and college networks to get as much advice as we can on where to go from here. If Kickstarter falls through we’ll be looking for private investors.”
The project has a long way to go. Hatcher has just $2060 of their $10,000 funding goal with a deadline of April 13. Backers would get pledge rewards, that range from in game currency and mythical eggs to shirts and custom made skins for phones and laptops.
Hatcher puts the player in charge of a small plot of land with the goal of expanding their territory. Inside of the city, players manage resources and hatch monsters from eggs they find throughout the world map. Hatcher has a board game aesthetic, with the world map divided up into hexagon shaped plots. Each plot categorized into five different types of land, that can be mined for resources and monster eggs.
“I have played both MMORPGs and resource management games for a number of platforms, so we incorporated our favorite elements and added what we wished were in those other games,” Visentin said. “We were also heavily influenced by traditional games like RISK, Settlers of Catan, and Magic the Gathering. The creature improvement process, Fusion, is inspired by genetics. The concept of hatching eggs is unique in this context, and was conceived with Sam spontaneously over a cup of coffee.”
In order to win, the player has to collect crystal shards that are hidden throughout the world map. Once a shard is discovered, everyone on the map is alerted. Players can attack any city on the world map using monsters hatched from eggs. Each monster has six stats and two unique skills. They can also be fused together and set up in formations for battle.
The scope of this game is huge with over 750 players per map. In order to accommodate mobile players, combat will be asynchronous with battles being decided instantly. The game is over when one guild discovers all five crystal shards, that are scattered throughout the world map. During beta testing games typically lasted six to eight weeks, but they could run much shorter with a lot of players.
“Players send legions to attack enemies, either NPCs or other players, and those legions arrive sometime later,” Visentin said. “Battles are then calculated instantly and the parties involved can see the results. This configuration seemed to make the most sense for mobile, where users are not always logged into the game.”
Artwork for the monsters are beautiful and have shades of ‘Magic the Gathering’ trading cards. Broccoli did much of the artwork. She drew the 50-plus monsters and the GUI using Photoshop, a graphic tablet and pen.
Broccoli said she was an avid fantasy reader growing up and a big fan of movies like Lord of the Rings. Her favorite character in the game was Nidhogg the legendary golden dragon.
“For some of the creatures I loosely drew on Norse and Greek mythology, European folklore, and figures from Hinduism,” Broccoli said. “ I also spliced together various animals to come up with my own creations, and made my own interpretations of several creatures commonly featured in other games such as the dragons ‘Nidhogg’ and ‘Tiamat’.”
If you are interested in pledging to the Hatcher Kickstarter you can find their page at http://kck.st/10t2KDh. More information on Hatcher can be found at the Brockenhaus Studios website www.brockenhaus-studio.com, on Tumblr at http://hatcher-game.tumblr.com/ and on twitter http://hatcher-game.tumblr.com/. After the Kickstarter is over we will get back to the developers and revisit the project.