Posts Tagged With: cedaria: blackout

The End of Kickstarter.

Our Kickstarter campaign was a smashing success! We got 332% funded and are now going to produce the best and most epic game in the history of video games! IT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME.

… is what I wish I could tell you. The sad truth is that the Cedaria Kickstarter failed horribly. We were so enthusiastic about it at the start, but as the days passed it became clear that we were not going to receive the money necessary to make the game the way we want it to be. It is rather disappointing, and many a days at the office were spent wallowing in ice cream and other chocolatey goodness to cheer ourselves up, or giving pep talks to remind each other that Cedaria will happen, with or without the funding.

The thing is, we do need the extra funding to include some necessary elements and help speed up the production process and avoid cutting back on some cool stuff we wish to include. So for that reason, we’re not really giving up just yet.

We made some mistakes along the way, we realise that now. There are a number of things that could’ve been done differently, but there’s no point in lamenting at the moment. In fact, that’s the last thing we’d think of doing now that we’re busy preparing for a second crowdfunding campaign! Yes, you heard that right, we’re coming back with a new and improved campaign within a month’s time, and we will be definitely more ready.

In the meantime, I am going to continue posting updates and information about the game, but at a slower pace given that I’m plenty busy creating NPCs and storylines at the moment! ūüėČ

With that out of the way, all that is left to say is… thank you for your support! =D

 

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Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Inter-religious Marriage and Star-Spangled Lovers.

In the previous post I covered the different clans we have on the island and some of the underlying tensions between them, and I did mention that the reason behind using the different clans is to address sensitive issues in a sensitive way. One such issue is inter-religious or inter-group marriage.

In Lebanon in particular and the Middle East in general, unions and marriages between members of different religions and different ethnic backgrounds are somewhat frowned upon. A Muslim who marries a Christian (especially a Muslim woman) may be shunned by their family; a union between a white man and a black woman (or vice versa) is considered odd; and even marrying a foreigner (regardless of whether they are from another Arab country or not) may be frowned upon. Traditional norms and values regarding the family and marriage are¬†so ingrained in the society to the extent that it is almost considered “taboo” to breach it.

We wanted to tackle this issue in Cedaria without touching upon any specific religion and risking offending anyone, and the best way to go about it was by developing relationships between members of different clans, the prime example of this being Valaina, daughter of the Kythein leader, and Jeremy Cain, son of the mayor of the Vaytori population (mostly concentrated in the Castellum). The romance of these two lovebirds is something strictly forbidden, especially with the Kythien law that condemns Kythien-Vaytori unions, mostly due to clash of ideals and for more personal reasons that will be discussed later on when you get to meet Edraele, the leader of the Kythiens.

The relationship between Valaina and Jeremy didn’t happen out of spite; they were merely two people who looked past their differences and fell in love, and in normal circumstances that should not be up for speculation. However, due to the social norms imposed by the citizens of the island, they are not meant to be… as cheesy as it sounds. Hey, you gotta have some cheese. Cheese is good. In moderation. I promise you the cheese doesn’t get overwhelming.

One of the things the player will have to do in this game is to find a way to allow those two people to be together under safe circumstances. Of course, if you’re so inclined, you may wish to tell their parents about their relationship, but can you do that without making life miserable for them? ūüėČ

For more information on the different clans, do make sure to visit our Kickstarter page, or else go back one post if you’re too lazy.
Categories: Characters, Storyline | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Whiff of Westlock.

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to like the antagonist/villain in the story more than the protagonist/hero. There’s always something that sets them apart and makes them more interesting, never mind they’re less than redeeming qualities. I am especially fond of the villains I write, to the point where I actually want them to win rather than the hero. Thankfully my voice of reason (almost) always stops me from letting the villain “win” in the story.

EdwinCedaria has its share of villains, and the first one to be created was Edwin Westlock III. He is an industrialist who got the short end of the stick when the Phoenix broke down, and that made him more bitter and immoral than he already was. I could tell you more about him, but I’d rather just show you… hello, Ed!

Edwin: Do not call me Ed. My name is Edwin. You had better have a good reason for calling me here and wasting my time.

Me: I just want to introduce you to the masses, you should lighten up a bit. What, had another argument with your wife?

Edwin: My personal life is none of your concern. It is true that Elizabeth is dim-witted and an eyesore, and her money is the only thing that  compels me to share a roof with her, but I still refuse to divulge any information regarding our comings and goings.

Me: You actually told me more than I need to know.

Edwin:¬†Are we done then? I have other matters to attend to. People rely on me to get them to different places, whereas you… what is it you do?

Me: I created you, so you will sit here and give me a few minutes of your time.

Edwin: I do not appreciate your tone. You may want to think carefully about what you say to me. Many a person has wished they could take back their words after I dealt with them.

Me:¬†You don’t scare me, Ed. You may talk big, but I know that right now you’re in a tight spot and in no position to make any threats. How’s your business coming along, by the way? I saw one of your ships in Angel Wharf this afternoon… looks like it’s starting to collect some dust. Won’t your father be proud when he sees it? Won’t he be proud when he knows what you’ve been doing in the shadows?

Edwin:¬†Don’t bring my father into this, you insolent little girl.¬†¬†Or talk about things you know nothing of, for that matter. That old man is dead and Westlock Industries is mine now, and I am free to run it the way I wish, and I will not have someone like you lecturing me about the¬†error of my ways. If I wanted to thieve and kill my way to the top, then believe me I shall, and nothing anyone does can stop me. And since you refuse to remove yourself from my sight, I will now bid you farewell and good riddance.

A bundle of sunshine, isn’t he? He’s been more twitchy than usual, and stupid as she may be, I think Mrs. Westlock has slowly started to realise that her precious Edwin didn’t marry her for love and now he has been forced to pretend all over again. Plus, he gets absolutely furious when anybody talks about his father; he’s not fond of him you see, and – though he won’t admit it – feels inferior when compared with him. That said, Edwin is quite easily agitated, it’s just a matter of knowing which of his buttons you should press.

I didn’t draw inspiration from any specific source; Edwin is just the bad boy of corporations who will stop at nothing in order to maintain his financial security and social status, and these are of course abundant in our societies.

As with the previous three characters, I have here with me some of the earlier versions of Edwin Westlock. Sadly, we do not have any 3D art for him yet.

We were still deciding just how evil we want to make him appear.

We were still deciding just how evil we want to make him appear.

A sketch of Edwin and a final draft! We decided to make his leg piece - a result of a particularly violent brawl - a little more elegant. =D

A sketch of Edwin and a final draft! We decided to make his leg piece – a result of a particularly violent brawl – a little more elegant. =D

 

 

Categories: Characters, Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Date with Josephine.

Jo

Character creation is one of my absolute favourite things about game writing… writing up the background, coming up with goals, secrets and conflicts… and dressing them up, of course! So, today I thought I’d talk a little about what went into creating the first female character in Cedaria:¬†Blackout.¬†Actually, Josie happens to be here today, so I’m going to leave it to her to introduce herself!

Josie:¬†For the record, it’s not a date.

Me:¬†Affirmative. I’m engaged anyway.

Josie: Oh, congratulations! Don’t tell my mother, she wouldn’t let me hear the end of it with all her talk about grandchildren, but I do want to get married eventually. The shop comes first, though, as you well know. I’ve got a title to keep!

Me: Cedaria’s sole female mechanic, was it?

Josie:¬†And the best, of course. -winks- I love what I do. I’ve always watched my father mess with all sorts of machines, and every time he brought one back to life I was filled with such delight. It’s like a puzzle. You get the broken machine, and the client is totally clueless about what happened to it. If you’re lucky, they won’t have hit it with a wrench in an attempt to make it work.

Me: But I thought that was a useful trick!

Josie:¬†Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t. It only serves to make my job more difficult.

Me: Duly noted. Though I was curious, how does the general populace receive a female mechanic? I know that proper women are expected to be on their best behaviour and wear fancy dresses at all times.

Josie:¬†I do get weird looks occasionally, but I’ve built a reputation for myself, and many, begrudgingly or not, attest to my skills. My femininity is not a flaw, and I’ll prove to everyone that I’m a damn good mechanic. I want to help fix the Phoenix, if that’s possible. That’ll shut them up.

Me:¬†Pretty ambitious, aren’t you?

Josie: You have to be, especially in times like this. Oh, excuse me, a client just came in. I don’t get much of them these days.

And that was Josie. She’s one of my favourites, actually. I love her spunk, and the fact that she’s doing what she likes, regardless of what might be said about her. One of the things I took into consideration while writing her is the fact that there are many professions that are unfeminine by social norms. With all the talk of equality between men and women, there are still things that are off-limits to both genders, even now when we supposedly live in an advanced society.

At first I didn’t really know what inspired Josie, then when she was complete and I unconsciously started calling her “Jo”, I realised that she reminded me a bit of opinionated, stubborn Josephine March. Of course, Jo March wasn’t a mechanic, but she had the tomboyish steak that my Josie possesses, a trait I find quite endearing.

As a special treat, I’m going to share with you some early pictures of Josie. What happens in the concept art process is that I give Gwen, our artist, some reference images as to what I want the character looks like, and she whips up some sketches before finalizing the character.

First we get to decide what the face looks like!

First we get to decide what the face looks like!

And the full body sketches, both the first draft and the final version. Doesn't she look awesome?

And the full body sketches, both the first draft and the final version. Doesn’t she look awesome?

And here's the 3D model of Josephine. I think our artist did a fantastic job with her!

And here’s the 3D model of Josephine. I think our artist did a fantastic job with her!

 

Categories: Characters, Design | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kicking off with a… kitten?

Today I’m excited to announce that we have finally launched the Kickstarter for Cedaria: Blackout! We were so nervous about clicking the “Launch” button that we had a kitten do it for us. Yes, you heard me – a kitten. We currently have an office kitten right now, and while I love kittens to death I’m starting to think his presence will be an extremely huge distraction, but then I look at how extremely darn cute he is and all is right with the world again.

But I digress.

Our Kickstarter is finally up, and it should give you a look about the game and what it’s all about. But while we’re at it, I’ll give a brief introduction.

Cedaria: Blackout is a cooperative adventure RPG set on the island of Cedaria, where chaos has been unleashed as  a result of the breakdown of a machine that held it at its seams and drove forward its industrial movement, a machine known as the Phoenix. Ten of its essential parts disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and the machine could not be put together again (for more on the story, click here).

As a wayfarer returning home to reunite with your family after a long period of absence, you will soon find yourself stuck on the island, and will be given the choice between doing what’s best for you, or what’s best for the island.

The game has been designed under the banner of “gaming for peace”. It is somewhat based on the country of Lebanon, but discusses issues present in every other country in the world. Rather than simply killing monsters and rescuing people just because the game tells you to, we want the player to be aware of the choices they’re making and the effect they have on the island; so it’s not just an adventure through a universe influenced by steampunk and Middle-Eastern elements, but very much a choice and consequence kind of game.

To make this happen, we need your help! We have such awesome plans for the game but unfortunately lack a sufficient budget, and it would absolutely kill¬†me if we didn’t get to execute them all. You wouldn’t want me dead, would you?

Wait, don’t answer that.

It would make our kitten sad, though. =[ And speaking of our kitten, how would you like to help us name it? We’re all still pretty much undecided, and I do believe that continuing to call a male cat “Kitty” will make it rather confused later on.

Our kitten! Isn't he just adorable?

Our kitten! Isn’t he just adorable?

And what's a kitten without its castle?

And what’s a kitten without its castle?

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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