Editor’s Note: This post is written by Erik Hoftun, Head of Snow Castle Studios, Producer, Earthlock: Festival of Magic.
It is quite an undertaking for a small studio like ours to take on such a big project as Earthlock. Why are we doing it? – Because the whole team really wants to make the game that we, most of all, would love to play ourselves!
So what does Earthlock offer as twists to the classic genre? For one, the combat pairing system is pretty unique. You pair fighter and protector characters, which opens up some very interesting tactical challenges in combat as well as powerful combinations. Another feature that sets Earthlock apart from other RPGs, is the crafting system where you actually grow and harvest your own ammunition!
Earthlock has a characteristic art style that is reminiscent of RPGs of past and features haunting original music that is sure to invoke memories of past adventures in the genre. What really defines the game, however, is the rich non-linear story where humor plays a major part in balancing the epic lore of a world where machines and magic intertwine. The planet Umbra stopped spinning ages ago in a cataclysmic event called ‘The Great Halt’. As long as anyone can remember, the deserts of one side have been scorched by the burning sun day and night, while the other face of the planet lies in endless darkness and ice. Both faces as well as the lush lands between hold secrets and wonders to explore.
You begin as the desert scavenger Amon and you quickly get drawn in by sinister forces plotting further disasters upon the world of Umbra. As the story progresses, your team grows into an unlikely group of characters all with their own different stories of why they join in on the adventure. The party works together to solve puzzles and win battles to save this strange and beautiful world.
Although the core team of developers is small, the extended team behind the project spans two continents and includes members with pretty impressive track records who all have come onboard primarily because they also love the game concept. Take our sound guy Jory Prum, for example, who comes with some pretty solid Pixar and Walking Dead credentials, or programmer Howard Smith with titles like Halo and CoD and Left 4 Dead under his belt.
Two years in the making, Earthlock: Festival of Magic is 60% completed and on track for release on PC, Mac and Linux in early 2015. The game was Greenlit in record time and will be available on Steam (as well as DRM-free vendors). Console versions are planned to follow.
SnowCastle has been able to finance a large part of the game already, but in order to complete it, we are also looking for crowd-funding to cover some of the remainder through our ongoing Kickstarter campaign. As one of our updates in the campaign, we announced that if we successfully reach our kickstarter goal, we will get additional funding of $200,000 from the Norwegian Film Institute. That is quite a motivation!
We would love it if you check it out the Kickstarter campaign! There you will find loads of more information about the game and the team behind it, including a great video and links to a downloadable early alpha demo – not to mention the updates with special reveals as the campaign progresses! And please chip in with a Kickstarter pledge and share the project with friends who may be charmed by the game to make sure that Earthlock reaches its funding goal!
We are also planning an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit.com on March 26 at 5 PM EST (6 PM EDT / 11 PM CET) – so we invite you to drop by and participate!
Thank you to the readers for taking the time to read about our project and a big thank you goes out to Forevergeek.com for inviting me to guest blog about Earthlock! Make sure you check out the ForeverGeek Kickstarter Store!