Showing posts with label Kickstarter Campaign. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kickstarter Campaign. Show all posts

HarleQuest! - A new 3D Dreamcast Game launches on Kickstarter!

HarleQuest! Kickstarter artwork
A game that I know myself and the other members of the Junkyard team have definitely been excited for is HarleQuest!, which started its life as a prototype called Dungeon Ross for a Global Game Jam event that was held back in late 2016 in Dundee, Scotland. The developers were a two-man team made up of Ross Kilgariff (also known as ross.codes) and Alastair Low (of LowTek Games). We covered a more fleshed-out build later in 2017, and it was looking mighty impressive, even back then.

Since those days of yore, Ross went on to  work on contract with LowTek Games, porting Alistair's NES games Flea! and Tapeworm: Disco Puzzle to the Dreamcast, both of which have gone on to be regarded as DC indie staples in their own right. This gave Ross a taste of the process of bringing a new game to the Dreamcast, and along with being introduced to WAVE Game Studios (who re-released Flea!), it also inspired him to turn his and Alastair's 3D prototype into a new independent game!
Dungeon Ross being demoed
Dungeon Ross being demoed
We've been following along with Ross' development progress on Twitter for quite some time now, and it's fair to say the footage of HarleQuest!'s work-in-progress gameplay has never failed to wow us. While we champion Dreamcast indies of all shapes and sizes here at the Junkyard, there's nothing quite like seeing a fantastic-looking 3D game for our little box of dreams, and HarleQuest! is exactly that. This top-down roguelike dungeon crawler boasts a distinctive style too, with character designs that almost hark back to games like MediEvilJersey Devil (does anyone remember Jersey Devil? No one?) or 40 Winks. With all this going for it, no wonder we were buzzing to learn it was coming to Kickstarter on April 1st.
HarleQuest artwork of its main character
And no, before you say it, this isn't an April Fool's prank. On this wretched day of fools (which has only been amplified to insufferable levels by the very internet with which I am beaming you this very information), I am happy to tell you that HarleQuest! has launched on Kickstarter, with a goal of £11,250. Let's take a look at it.

The game's pitch reads as follows: 
"HarleQuest! is a tough-as-nails roguelike with technical combat, randomised dungeon layouts and tons of weapons and loot! Combat encounters require precise control and care, enemies lurk around every corner and bosses guard your only exit. Death is permanent. This is not a game for the faint of heart.

"The unlikely hero of our story is Estienne, a jester who has been thrown into the dungeon by a cruel and capricious king. He must run, spring, tumble and sneak his way through the twisted depths below the castle. Can you help Estienne regain his freedom and put an end to the King's tyrrany?

"Go it alone, or invite a friend to play couch co-op!"
Working on versions for both Dreamcast and PC, Ross states that with the help of backers, he can take HarleQuest! from being a "simple, fun" game, to a "fuller,  more feature-packed" title, and potential stretch goals of £15,000 and £20,000 even hold the promise of digital versions for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation/Xbox respectively. Ross' goal is to deliver the game by October 2024.

But we're here for Dreamcast, and with the help of WAVE Game Studios, HarleQuest! can be delivered to our doorsteps in the professional, high-quality DC packaging that WAVE are very much known for. This means proper pressed discs (CD-ROMs) that are region-free, a full colour instruction manual, and your choice of EU Blue, US White or JP Orange theming in a standard CD jewel case. To get yourself this physical Dreamcast release, the lowest you'll be paying is £35 (excluding postage), although a genuine EU PAL case “upgrade” is on offer for the purists at an additional charge of £10.
A photo showing a Dreamcast controller, keyboard, and two versions of the physical HarleQuest! Dreamcast game
A lower tier that includes both digital versions (Dreamcast and PC) is available, for those who run ODEs, etc. There is also a £10 "goodies pack" tier, which gets you an enamel pin, a sticker and badge pack, as well as an embroidered patch (to sew onto your battle jacket, of course). It doesn't get you the game by itself, but could definitely be added onto the physical game tier to get you some extra goodies.
HarleQuest! gameplay footage showing the main character about to fight a hoard of skeletons
If you're looking for the real deal stuff though, look no further than the collector's and developer's editions. Including the physical Dreamcast game, the collector's edition includes a metallic print inlay, enamel pins, stickers, badges, an embroidered patch, a branded beanie (to wear while you rock your HarleQuest!-branded battle jacket), a personalised letter of thanks from the developer, as well as the ability to help "shape the game as it’s being developed". This basically means people who back this tier get priority on the feedback and ideas they share with the development team. 
HarleQuest! gameplay of the main character fighting a knight
The developer's edition includes everything from the collector's edition, but also grants you full access to the game's source code, art files, audio files and tools, as well as a copy of the game's design document with extensive details on every aspect of the game. This edition would also grant you permission to distribute a modified version of the game on the HarleQuest! website (non-commercial), and it even says that if you do make something great with the HarleQuest! assets, engine, etc., Ross would maybe consider it for a commercial release! Let's hope this could be the start of more special things to come from the Dreamcast indie scene.

Wrapping up these two editions, if the campaign reaches a stretch goal of £25,000, vinyl figures of in-game characters will be added to them! This would be really awesome to see, and I sincerely hope the campaign can reach this stretch goal.

If you want to try the game before you back the Kickstarter, Ross has released a demo .CDI which can be burnt onto a CD-R or put on an ODE. In this demo, you have to defeat all the enemies in each room to win! You can download the demo here.

Finally, and this is the most important bit: we have until Sunday the 30th of April to get this Kickstarter fully backed (and reach those stretch goals), so in order to get that "fuller, more feature-packed" version of HarleQuest!, the Dreamcast community will need to get backing! Again, you can back the Kickstarter here.

Shadow Gangs Kickstarter re-kicked with lower goal

We recently reported on the promising Shadow Gangs Dreamcast port and its Kickstarter campaign. Though the game is a top quality side scrolling punching simulator, one of the most common concerns we saw raised was how high the Kickstarter funding goal had been set. It appears that the team behind Shadow Gangs saw similar cause for concern and as a result, the original campaign for this excellent addition to the Dreamcast indie library has been cancelled with a new one launched in its place. The new campaign has a much more realistic goal of £25,000 (the previous target had been set at a fairly optimistic £140,000) and it can be found here.

Naturally several of us here at the Junkyard backed the previous Kickstarter, and have also now pledged towards the new campaign. If you're wondering what all the fuss is about though, below is a preview of the game running on a GDEMU equipped DCHDMI system:

Honestly, this is a really high quality, hard as nails scrapper and I'm very much looking forward to playing the final game on a Dreamcast. Not sure I'll be seeing much more than the first level judging from my shockingly bad playthrough of the demo, but cest la vie and all that.

Anyone who wants to try the demo on actual Dreamcast hardware (or an emulator) themselves can do so by heading over to the new Shadow Gangs Kickstarter here, and grabbing the file via the handy download link. Oh, and maybe support the campaign too. New Dreamcast games, especially ones with Shadow Gangs' level of quality, are never a bad thing to back. Unlike that coffee maker I backed two years ago and still haven't recieved. Yes Oomph, I'm looking at you. Harrumph.

Shadow Gangs (Dreamcast Edition) hits Kickstarter!

Good news! Everyone's favourite 80's inspired side-scrolling beat 'em up Shadow Gangs has finally hit Kickstarter! I say finally, because Shadow Gangs for Dreamcast has been a long time coming - news of it coming to the Dreamcast can be found as early as 2016. Since those first murmurings of a Dreamcast port, Shadows Gangs released to Steam and Xbox in 2020, with a Switch port following at the beginning of 2021 - to almost universally positive reviews. 

More recently, developer JKM Corp teased us with a clip of the port we've been waiting for running on a Dreamcast, with news that the Dreamcast version was pretty much finished, and a Kickstarter would be on its way soon. Well it's now here, with options for both digital and physical editions available.
But JKM Corp isn't just giving us any old version of Shadow Gangs, oh no. Considering the game's pretty obvious Shinobi influence, it is only right that Shadow Gangs would come to a Sega console with a bang.

According to the Kickstarter campaign, the Dreamcast version will have 7% more vertical resolution compared to other versions, and will also feature controller rumble - a feature exclusive to Dreamcast. The game will also benefit from its later release date in the sense that certain features will be tweaked in this version thanks to the feedback of fans who played the PC and console original, making it more accessible to everyone. Listening to fan feedback will always get a thumbs up from us.

For those looking for a more ass-kicking experience though, multiple difficulties will be available, including the absolutely ridiculous Crimson Ninja mode. Shadow Gangs may well become the Dark Souls of Dreamcast beat 'em ups. Dark Gangs? Sorry.
 
There are many perks for backing at different tiers, including a hefty collector's edition that comes with an artbook and a shirt, as well as a load of other collectable items. To get a physical Dreamcast release though, you'll need to stump up £45 or higher.

There are also some stretch goals, including a re-recorded soundtrack with a full band, PS4 and PS5 versions, and the promise of a sequel if the funding reaches the required levels.

Regardless, we're excited to see yet another new game come to the Dreamcast, and that it is one with such a pedigree is hugely exciting. Head over to the Shadow Gangs Kickstarter here to pledge your support.

Mortadelo y Filemón: Spanish Point & Click Kickstarter for Dreamcast


Appearing on Kickstarter recently out of nowhere, Mortadelo y Filemón is the Dreamcast game coming in 2021 that you never knew you wanted until now! The game is a point and click adventure which is based on a popular Spanish comic series. 

From the project overview:

"Mortadelo y Filemón: El Sulfato Atómico is a point and click style adventure game, available in Steam, which has players trying to steal back a spray that turns insects into giants.

In this game our characters must rescue the atomic sulphate created by professor Bacterio of the claws of Bruteztrausen, general of an enemy state. This sulphate is a spray that increases the size of the insects, making them reach measures of meters! They will have to enter the State slyly to arrive at the governmental palace and take the sulphate.

Shenmue World magazine from Shenmue Dojo smashes Kickstarter goal in less than 24 hours!

I initially planned to publish this article a day ago as a way to help spread the news that Shenmue Dojo had launched a Kickstarter for a fan magazine called Shenmue World. Looks like I needn't have bothered though, as the community has come together in less than 24 hours to fund the project! 

Full disclosure here - several members of the Junkyard team have also backed Shenmue World - so allow us the benefit of the doubt when we describe this project as 'thoroughly deserving.'

Let's step back in time first, though. You may be wondering what all this is about. Basically, Shenmue Dojo is one of - if not the - best known Shenmue fan sites / forums when it comes to...well, Shenmue. Obviously. The clue is in the name. How many people come here for PlayStation 2 news? I digress. 

Personally I have been visiting Shenmue Dojo for well over a decade, and the site actually started in 2000 - five whole years before the Junkyard was but a twinkle in my eye. Quite simply, these guys know their Wude from their Master Chen...if you catch my drift.

Anyway, Shenmue World is a new fan magazine created by Shenmue Dojo and headed up by Jim Brown (aka SkillJim), one of the head honchos over at Shenmue Dojo. A year in the making, Shenmue World is a completely independent fan-created ode to all that is good in the world of Shenmue.

According to the video over on the Shenmue Dojo YouTube channel, the magazine has already been finalised in principle, and the Kickstarter was simply put in place to allow Jim and his team to start a mass print run. The magazine (or at least the initial prototype) looks like a Shenmue fan's dream - lots of original content, features and articles focussing on literally every aspect of Shenmue.

The good news - as intimated in the headline of this article - is that Shenmue World has been fully funded to the tune of £6500 in less than 24 hours, and so the magazine will be produced and everyone who has backed it to the correct tier will receive a physical copy at some point in the not-too-distant future.

We here at the Junkyard realise that not everyone uses Twitter, so allow us to use our own platform - this blog - to point you in the direction of the Shenmue World Kickstarter if you wish to get your mitts on a copy of the magazine.

As ever, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments, and please do visit Shenmue Dojo's website and follow them on Twitter.

Dreamcast: Year Two hits Kickstarter!

Dreamcast: Year One was successfully funded and launched late last year, and those who managed to grab a copy were treated to a beautifully illustrated, fantastically detailed trip down memory lane back to the first year of the Dreamcast's life; albeit with a distinctly PAL flavour. You can read our review of Dreamcast: Year One here.

After the success of Dreamcast: Year One, it was pretty much written in the stars that Year Two would follow on its coattails...and now the Kickstarter for this very tome is live!


It's probably worth mentioning before I go any further, that author and campaign manager Andrew Dickinson has since joined the podcast and editorial team of The Dreamcast Junkyard, and many of the other contributors to this blog are involved in writing content for Dreamcast: Year Two...and that includes yours truly. With that out of the way, what can you expect from Dreamcast: Year Two?
Well, more of the same to be honest...which is no bad thing! A bigger, more content-rich book full of interviews and retrospectives on the games from the Dreamcast's second year on the market; and the Kickstarter campaign features a range a tiers that offer some pretty special backer perks. But what of the main book? I'm glad you asked:
  • Main book has over 50% more pages than Year One
  • Double the number of retrospectives than Year One
  • Brand new artwork from graphic designer Dan Tiller
  • Interviews with the likes of Corey Marshall, John Linneman and Steven Kent (and more)
  • Retrospectives written by members of Dreamcast Years and The Dreamcast Junkyard
But that's not all! Oh no - there's also the opportunity to fund a one-off Dreamcast Years magazine, and a special edition of the Dreamcast Years podcast that will be exclusively available on Minidisc. Talk about going fully authentic on the era-specific formats... (you'll probably need to get a Minidisc player if you're up for that perk, though).
Dreamcast: Year Two is totally unofficial and written by fans of the console and prominent members of the burgeoning online community. The project is initially looking for £12,000 in funding and at the time of writing (a mere hour after the campaign went live) it stands at a staggering £5,000 already.

So there you have it. Dreamcast: Year Two is all set to take the momentum from the ace Dreamcast: Year One and run with it. Want to get involved with this Kickstarter? Of course you do! Check out the campaign page here.
Finally - a disclaimer: none of the contributors from The Dreamcast Junkyard will gain financially from this campaign. In fact, most (if not all) of us who are contributing written content are also backers. In other words - none of us are being paid, we're contributing because we love the Dreamcast, plain and simple!

Will you be backing Dreamcast: Year Two? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter. You can also follow Andrew Dickinson on Twitter here. Oh, and here's the Kickstarter link again, just in case you missed it!

Exploring EMAP's Lost Official Dreamcast Magazine: An Interview With Dave Kelsall

Magazines are an important part of gaming history.

They were the only way that regular people could absorb all the news from the industry and get opinions on games before they spent their hard-earned cash on them. Like much physical media though, they have become increasingly niche as the internet and digital technologies saturate the market. News can be fed right to your phone as it happens, while user and influencer reviews are taken on board just as much, if not more, than the professionally written ones of established journalists.
For many of us who revere retro (and especially Dreamcast, of course), physical media and good-old-fashioned games journalism feels sorely missed. Personally, I can find a place for the old and the new in my life, but when flicking through old magazines I never fail to stumble upon that one thing that made them special - magic.

Okay, I don’t mean magic in the make-believe sense (and most definitely not in the Dynamo sense either), but rather that feeling of holding in your hands the key to a world that is beyond the norm. They were a guide to all of those computers, consoles and games that you had no idea were coming. They held updates on things you were eagerly awaiting, and reviews of games you’d seen in the shop but had no idea if it was worth paying £39.99 for.
When I wrote my first book, Dreamcast: Year One, I took this very specific love of gaming magazines and injected that into the pages - both in the style and also the content. Specifically, I interviewed three people involved in that scene from the time of the Dreamcast; Caspar Field (editor of DC-UK), Ed Lomas (reviews & deputy editor of Official Dreamcast Magazine) and also David Kelsall (graphic designer at Official Saturn Magazine).
The latter of those interviews was more than just a chat about the good old days though, as David had a never-before-seen pitch from the magazine publisher EMAP for the Official Dreamcast Magazine. I therefore decided to share an edited down version of his interview, along with a few of the images he shared with me, in the book itself.

I had always intended to share a longer version of the interview with the images I didn’t use, and as we approach the launch of my campaign to fund Dreamcast: Year Two I figured this was the best time to do that. So here it is!


Andrew Dickinson: David, could you please tell us a little bit about how you got into games journalism?

Dave Kelsall: It’s quite a long story! I’ve always been obsessed with games magazines (and games of course). I used to buy everything available, even books with type-in BASIC listings. I wouldn’t necessarily type them, but I liked to read the code and look at the artwork.

I was on an art trip to London with my Sixth form college and I spotted Julian Rignal (renowned games journalist and editor) sitting in the buffet clutching a camera. He was off to do one of his seaside reports on the latest arcade machines, so I went over to say hi. I didn’t live that far from Ludlow (where Newsfield, the publishers of Crash and Zzap! 64, were based) and so he invited me down to take a look around the offices whenever we were both free.

A few weeks later I went down for a visit and he very kindly showed me around, took me to the pub, and we of course played games. Fast forward a few years and I had just finished my HND in Graphic Design and I was on the train accompanying my girlfriend who was going for an interview in London for a job in the fashion industry. I happened to be reading a copy of Mean Machines and there was an advert in the News section looking for a designer. As I remember it, I turned up to the EMAP offices and enquired about the job. I think I spoke to Julian beforehand and mentioned who I was, and I was promptly shown upstairs and told to design something. They must have liked what I did as I was offered the job the next day and that was the start of a career in magazines, and initially games journalism. I absolutely loved my time there and I only left the games division when EMAP sold it to Dennis. I moved on to other titles within EMAP.