Bloom: Memories Returns to Kickstarter

Bloom: Memories Returns to Kickstarter

Bloom: Memories, "a new kind of action-adventure RPG," is taking another run at Kickstarter.

"Bloom," according to the Studio Fawn website, "strives to capture the innocent feeling of adventure and discovery (taking lessons from such classic games as The Legend of Zelda) while at the same time pushing the experience deeper with a heartfelt story of love and sacrifice." That doesn't exactly nail down the specifics, does it? But the visual style is very strong, and the promise of a game that doesn't rely on relentless bloodshed for victory (but leaves that door open if that's how you roll) is certainly intriguing.

Bloom will also feature a "strong stealth system" that's "heavily based on the amazing stealth play of the original Thief game." It's played from an isometric perspective, not first-person, but "using shadows to conceal yourself, luring away enemies with distractions (sound and vision detection), or simply sneaking around an unaware enemy" will all be part of the package. And of course you can always just talk to people, too.

"Talking to enemies (or friends) will be much more important than simply being told where to go next. You will make allies, discover secret paths, find new solutions of how to solve problems, and even gain new powers," the Kickstarter states. "Of course, creatures also have shifting moods. So if you are aware of those and manage to control or take advantage of them, new ways of approaching problems will appear."

This is actually Bloom's second appearance on Kickstarter, following an effort in March that fell short but still managed to raise nearly $35,000 of a $50,000 goal. The team is seeking $40,000 this time around, and the Kickstarter itself seems a little more focused; there's also a "pre-alpha engine demo," which goes a long way toward establishing a project's credibility (or lack thereof, but let's hope for the best).

The Bloom: Memories Kickstarter is live now and runs until December 10. Do I have to tell you not to back it unless you can afford to lose it? Yes, I do, and I just did, but if you like what you see, you can dig in deeper at studiofawn.com.

Source: Kickstarter

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Sounds like an interesting game, and the description of what they're going for is somewhat less vague than last time. I pledged a small amount to it last time because it sounded interesting, I'll likely pledge the same amount this time (maybe they'll actually meet goal and get the money this time -- who knows?).

Decent chance one of the devs will join the thread too (Dani Landers) -- she posts on the Escapist from time to time (as @IvoryOasis ).

I'd made a thread about this last time the game was on KS (along with a certain other more infamous Kickstarter): http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.405324-Kickstarter-Kids-Gender-and-Transgender and I think my opinion of the project there still holds.

Oh my god, the music in that video alones makes me want to donate all my money to them.

I don't know...the idea sounds cool, but stealth in an isometric view? Yeah, that might be tricky. In addition, I don't know how I feel about a company trying to raise funds on Kickstarter, falling short, and then coming back for Round 2 on the same exact game. What happened to the first $30K?

Thanks so much to Andy for covering a little indie team like us. It really meant a lot :)

Just so everyone knows, the project is still pretty early stages, so everything you see so far is just the first glimpse of our new engine and some design shifts. The last 6 months have been building up the engine from scratch, and getting in all the tools / processes to let us make a 2d game that looks like this and can support all of the features we want (which, is pretty crazy for an indie, we just couldn't bring ourselves to make a side-scrolling platformer :P)

I don't know...the idea sounds cool, but stealth in an isometric view?

It is one of the things we are most proud of :) What we do is a lot like how the original thief game handled it (if you are in darker areas, you will be less visible to enemies.. or if you walk on certain surfaces, they will hear you easier...since we have detection on vision and sound. And of course abilities to play off the AI and line of sight and all that fun stuff).

Humm, yea, hasn't really been done much in isometric view or RPGs much...but...well...that is what indies are for, breaking rule :D

Of course, the stealth is just one option. Many games tend to focus their games around the core of combat (zelda) or stealth (thief)...for us, the core feature that the game revolves around is exploration (not stealth, and not combat, and not dialog). Instead, each of those other features are options to serve the story and exploration (basically, it lets you play more freely and rewards you for the paths you take more organically).

What happened to the first $30K?

Ohh, we never got anything from the last campaign. The way kickstarter works is an all or nothing setup (and since we didn't reach the goal ,we got nothing). So, everything so far we have just been doing on our own while working to stay alive. James (the programmer) has a wife and child to support so tries to squeeze in coding when he can, and I try to freelance when I can to get by... it has been a pretty rough 6 months, but we are pretty proud (since, what we are doing is pretty bonkers to attempt, but it has amazingly come together to the solid base we have now to build off of).

Schadrach:
Decent chance one of the devs will join the thread too (Dani Landers) -- she posts on the Escapist from time to time (as @IvoryOasis ).

I would say a 82.35 percent chance ;) I also hang around in the escapist IRC a lot :)

Anyhow, thanks so so much everyone for the support! It has been a pretty good first day. Hopefully we make it through this time. We are truly trying to do something new (in a lot of ways), but we really can't do it alone.

Hey IvoryOasis when you say that you've been working on a new engine does that mean you guys aren't using Unity anymore? Just curious since I thought that's what you guys were planning on using last time around, is there any particular reason for the change? It's nice to see the big progress since last time though so I hope the campaign goes well!

Yup, Unity is out (whew this might be a long answer :P)

The biggest reason is because we are doing a fully 2d game and unity is more geared towards 3d.... well, that, and, we wanted to take 2d as far as we could (which meant figuring out how to handle things like really large numbers of character frames).

Also, after the last campaign, we actually decided to go all out and make something really new and tackle some special features. Like the way we handle lighting is pretty interesting (remember, it is all 2d), or the way we handle the tens of thousands of frames needed (for example, for the old man, one direction of his idle is 180 frames....times 16 direction support (most 2d games do 4...or 8 directions :P)... that is 2880 frames for a single character and a single animation!

Then, of course most 2d games use sprite sets for their environments (since it lets you build a small number of assets, then just copy them around to make the maps). But I wanted to do more like the classic point and click adventure games, where everything was individually done. It is a lot more work (I do all the artwork, soo, I must hate myself !_!), but it means I can make anything I want anywhere I want (more creative freedom :3). It also meant we needed different ways of handling moving from one area to another, or even how the map loads (since the game is 1080p resolution, we are dealing with hundreds and hundreds of individual full screen maps...so... yea, managing all of that and keeping the game size down was another thing we had to do).

So, basically everything in the engine is made specifically for Bloom :) James (the programmer) even made our own scripting language to use in the game...along with a bunch of tools to handle converting mass numbers of assets, and setting up combat, and even all the really cool stuff we can do with maps.

That is why things look like they are in early stages...because, well, we have a ways to go and we have made an insane 2d engine that can handle a LOT of stuff, which takes a crazy amount of work to make happen (so currently, we have a rock solid engine base to build from. Everything is working, and now it is just expanding).

I really couldn't bring myself to do pixels and side scrolling. I'm approaching the game from the art side of things, so from the very start I wanted something that pushed me in that respect.

When I said this is a game unlike any other...I really really meant it. That isn't just marketing talk. Everything from the story, to the game design, to even the engine and the art side.... we are totally going off the rails and trying to break away from rehashing the same games with different skins.

I don't know, when I think of RPGs like this...all I can really think of is Zelda (or relatively pure hack and slash like Bastion). The thing is, we aren't even focused on combat (you can play the entire game without hurting anyone or anything), so even there the similarities break down immediately. That is why this is a passion project, because we are making something we wish existed....but doesn't ... mostly because that is the kind of game (as a gamer) I wished I could play :P

We are obviously COMPLETELY crazy for trying this as an indie team :) But, hopefully the good type of crazy haha. So far we have been making it happen on nothing :)

IvoryOasis:
Thanks so much to Andy for covering a little indie team like us. It really meant a lot :)

Just so everyone knows, the project is still pretty early stages, so everything you see so far is just the first glimpse of our new engine and some design shifts. The last 6 months have been building up the engine from scratch, and getting in all the tools / processes to let us make a 2d game that looks like this and can support all of the features we want (which, is pretty crazy for an indie, we just couldn't bring ourselves to make a side-scrolling platformer :P)

I don't know...the idea sounds cool, but stealth in an isometric view?

It is one of the things we are most proud of :) What we do is a lot like how the original thief game handled it (if you are in darker areas, you will be less visible to enemies.. or if you walk on certain surfaces, they will hear you easier...since we have detection on vision and sound. And of course abilities to play off the AI and line of sight and all that fun stuff).

Humm, yea, hasn't really been done much in isometric view or RPGs much...but...well...that is what indies are for, breaking rule :D

Of course, the stealth is just one option. Many games tend to focus their games around the core of combat (zelda) or stealth (thief)...for us, the core feature that the game revolves around is exploration (not stealth, and not combat, and not dialog). Instead, each of those other features are options to serve the story and exploration (basically, it lets you play more freely and rewards you for the paths you take more organically).

What happened to the first $30K?

Ohh, we never got anything from the last campaign. The way kickstarter works is an all or nothing setup (and since we didn't reach the goal ,we got nothing). So, everything so far we have just been doing on our own while working to stay alive. James (the programmer) has a wife and child to support so tries to squeeze in coding when he can, and I try to freelance when I can to get by... it has been a pretty rough 6 months, but we are pretty proud (since, what we are doing is pretty bonkers to attempt, but it has amazingly come together to the solid base we have now to build off of).

Schadrach:
Decent chance one of the devs will join the thread too (Dani Landers) -- she posts on the Escapist from time to time (as @IvoryOasis ).

I would say a 82.35 percent chance ;) I also hang around in the escapist IRC a lot :)

Anyhow, thanks so so much everyone for the support! It has been a pretty good first day. Hopefully we make it through this time. We are truly trying to do something new (in a lot of ways), but we really can't do it alone.

Wow...wasn't expecting a response from an actual dev. That is actually pretty impressive. Thanks for answering my doubts. I don't have the money to give to a Kickstarter, but I wish the best of luck.

IvoryOasis:
snip

Wow that's pretty impressive, I know that building your own engine from scratch is a massive undertaking, let alone making the game itself on top of that, so kudos on getting that up and running!

 

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