Pankapu : The Dreamkeeper ! A 2D Action/platformer told like a tale

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Hegor, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Hello! We're a French Indie Team called "Too Kind Studio". We're currently working on our first game "Pankapu". We had a Kickstarter campaign in November, and it was a success (initial stretch goal : 40,000$, and we got 53,000$)!!

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    You can download the alpha version here : http://www.tookindstudio.com/en/news-en/pankapu-goes-alpha/

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    Pankapu: The Dreamkeeper is a 2D episodic Action/Platformer.

    The first chapter is planned for the first quarter of 2016.

    The main purpose of PANKAPU is to go back to the roots of old school Action/Platform games. The ones we grew with, simple and fun. In addition, we want to add a strong story mixing humour and imagination.

    The game is a tale based on a universe that we have been working on for years, inspired by many influences such as the Lakota culture and video game series such as Final Fantasy. Our purpose is to tell stories supported by a fun gameplay.
     
  2. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Hello guys!
    I was thinking : maybe I could tell you more about the story ? ;)Story is a very important part of the game to us. Indeed, Pankapu is to be told like a tale. And like every tale, we want the player to grow up as he plays it. Thus, the gameplay will support the story in a strong way.

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    Djaha’Rell is a child whose nights are regularly troubled by nightmares. In order to overcome his fears, his father tells him the story of Pankapu, the Dreamkeeper. The player is then invited to live the adventures of the tiny warrior through the eyes of Djaha'Rell.


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    Djaha'Rell​


    The game is a projection of Djaha’Rell’s mind, and it all takes place inside this imaginary world. In this way, most of the characters and situations come from his troubled past, and the player, if he/she is a little bit curious, will find the parallel between these two stories.


    This mise en abyme will settle a dual narration. The young player will then follow the adventures of Pankapu, as he would in a traditional tale, while the more mature ones will read between the lines and discover the tragic story of Djaha’Rell, and how he overcomes his trauma.


    Djaha'Rell's story is dark and tragic...

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    ...While Pankapu has a more light-hearted and epic story !


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    All of this sounds curious, doesn't it ? ;)You'll have to play the game to lift the veil on those mysteries!

    See you next time!
     
  3. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Hello everyone ! Time for a small update!
    Hellooooo everyone!
    I hope you guys are doing good!
    Soo last time, we told you about the general presentation of the game. Hence, we were thinking about doing a small Update!

    As you may know, we launched our Kickstarter campaign in November. Our initial stretch goal was 40,000$. At the end, we managed to get 53,000$! Thanks to that, we were able to achieve 3 new stretch goals!

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    That's right !
    The Aegis (the different forms Pankapu can get through the levels) will have graphical evolutions with every level taken!
    And ! There will be a professional voice actor to tell the story ! The narrator will be voiced by Kai Kennedy, who's worked on Beowulf and Skullgirls!

    And last but not least, there is going to be Xbox One and PS4 versions ! Those versions will be released in 2017, alongside the full game, once the 8 chapters are released.

    Please stay tuned for more updates really soon !
     
  4. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Helloooooo we're back ! And this time, we have news abouuut ENVIRONMENTS! Today, we're going to present you two new environments that will conclude the first chapter of Pankapu : The Dreamkeeper.


    The Mudjin Pound:


    Deep down inside the fast Lush Forest you can find the Mudjin Pound; Settled in a copse, where the Anima flows wanders through the forest small inhabitants' homes. Formerly peaceful and full of live, a feeling of fear dominates this place of quietness after the nightmares' invasion, forcing the Mudjins to escape their home.


    For this area's creation, I'm going to let GG, our art director, present you his committed position.

    1. The method


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    First of all, let's talk about the technical aspects. I essentially work on Saï, a painting software that I've fallen in love with, coupled with my brand new Cintiq 13HD, which has replaced my good old Intuos Wacom (no mercy! Given the time that I save on illustrations).


    Once my assets are over, I put the final result on Photoshop, to carry out the last adjustments and boost up the light/contrast if the finish is too dull or too dark.

    As for the parallaxes (background's layer in the game that moves in parallel of the scrolling, well seen, huh ?), I use Krita, an open source painting software, so that I can correctly complete my textures via an extremely practical specific tool (W shortcut to your friends).

    Here is a small video of one of our previous live arts to show you Saï (without the Krita wrapping up, unfortunately).





    2. Area Concept


    Here you can find the first concept that I had realized for the Mudjin Pound:


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    Its name was Lumen's pond at the time when I didn't have the idea of the village yet. I was then more focused on the concept of anima, bright source of life, that I wanted to be omnipresent in the level. By the way, this idea will be kept and very much improved for an ulterior part of the game.

    The second concept we had unveiled to you during the Kickstarter was more focused on the atmosphere and the tints.


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    The Anima was still present, but the area was much more dense and in a forest fashion. I wanted to go for concepts about the birch, a tree with a light-dispersing and striped bark, covered with purple and orange foliage that looks great in autumn and that seemed to contrast wonderfully with the previous areas to me.

    The idea was clearly to bring some heat, and to differ with the earlier blue/green.

    However, I wasn't completely happy with the result. Everything was too identical, poor, due to the overabundance of the trees to this "wood" aspect. I was starting to feel that Peppu would be just a forest with a different tint... I found that "boring", to say the least and I let the dough rest.

    3. Final version

    Here's the third and last concept. All finalized and integrated in Unity.


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    This one is much closer to the notion of life. It's filled with Mudjins and thus must be abounded by houses created by those cute little beings. So I designed a village at the heart of the pond. A peaceful place where those little troublemakers could live in and play by painting symbols on their homes while bathing in the source of everything. The place holds a milkier and sweeter atmosphere, it could even be seen as downy, to remind the joy of innocence. But the village remains desperately empty, striking a certain anxiety against a backdrop of loneliness...

    3.1 Assets


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    As you can see, the platforms accessible by Pankapu are also houses. I nevertheless embellished them with music instruments to note the musical activities of our dear light bubbles, the Mudjins. Music is an universal notion that wonderfully supports their jovial nature.



    3.2 Parallaxes:


    To finish, the backgrounds are made of parallaxes, which are parallel layers moving at the same rhythm as the camera's movements and creating the illusion of depth in a 2D game.


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    In the Mudjin pound, the environment is similar to a mangrove forest scattered with plantations close to sea anemones. There is a common idea in the whole region of Peppu : trees. And this idea can be found, allowing us to make connections between the levels. Hence, I don't step out of the main idea because of the Mudjin huts and the nature's magic remains omnipresent. ♥


    The Lush Forest:



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    Above, at the edge of the Garden, you will be able to take a glimpse of the Lush forest. Vast Silva, generous and colored, this abundant forest is scattered with vertiginous trees as far as the eyes can see.


    That's all for today, we love you all!
     
  5. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    [​IMG]


    Let me introduce you a new character from the Land of Dreams: Ohiti.


    At the very beginning of your adventure, Iketomi will ask you to find the trace of Ohiti, a small being from Peppu in danger...


    Will Pankapu be able to have Ohiti find his Bravery back ?


    Color Research


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    Sad Ohiti


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    FX Research



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    Ohiti In Spine



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    Final In-Game Version



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    That's it for today, we love you all !!
     
  6. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Hello everyone!

    As you may know, Pankapu is a 2D action/platformer game. It also has some role play elements in it. This might sound confusing, so we thought : why not talk about the gameplay ?

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    Pankapu: the Dreamkeeper is mixing platformer, action and role play. The goal of the gameplay is to be dynamic with a clear understanding of the pattern in order to immerse you directly into the action.

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    As the adventure progresses, you will be able to customize Pankapu, to give him new equipment, outfits and skills that perfectly fit with style and match the situations you will encounter.


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    During his quest Pankapu will bear different Aegis. Each one acting like a specialization and switchable in real time, fully changing the skills and weapons of our hero.

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    Every Aegis has a skill tree that can be upgraded to give new powers. These abilities will be unlock as you (re)explore the levels. This system is called Nebula.

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    See you next time, we love you all !
     
  7. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Good news everyone!

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    Given the fact that the game's release is coming soon, we've decided to close the PayPal campaign.

    The question which is certainly on your minds now : was this campaign a success ?

    Well... We're bringing you today an excellent news : Thanks to you, Pankapu will be released on Nintendo home console! Pankapu The Dreamkeeper will well and truly be released on WiiU on 2017! (Or NX, who knows ?!)

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    It's such a great honor to think that our own small game has got bigger and will be associated to those that brought us so much fun memories when we were kids! This then means that whatever your console/PC, you'll be able to play Pankapu!

    Thank you so much everyone for supporting us during this campaign!

    One last important thing : Now that the PayPal is closed, we are going to send you the surveys for the backers. Please check out your emails during the next weeks!

    Bonus: Back from Evry Games city 2

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    On April 16th-17th 2016, in Evry (near Paris, France), the city organized the Evry Games City2. This year, French independent studios had the place of honor! About 40 indie game studios were present! And, of course, so were your humble servants from Too Kind Studio ! During the week-end, many people came to see us! Little ones and grown-ups tried the demo of Pankapu:The Dreamkeeper.

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    Your positive feedbacks pleased us, and we're now back in our office in Lille, more determined than ever, and with many memories in our heads!

    For those who couldn't make go to Evry, we'll be attending the "Geek Days" event in Lille Grand Palais (April 23-24th 2016). If you're in Lille this week-end, don't hesitate to say hi!


    We love you!!

    All the Too Kind Studio team
     
  8. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Hello everyone! Remember Mio ? Well, today, we're going to let Ganaé, our beloved composer, present you his work on that mysterious character, and above all, explain you “How a music’s game is done!!”

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    1st step – The order

    It’s the first step. Jérôme, our very own artistic director, asks me for a music, for a level, a story event, or a character.

    2nd step – The theme writing

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    The idea will be to create a melody that’ll match, in this case with the character of Mio.

    So I create the theme in the most pure possible way with my keyboard so I can be as neutral as possible.

    Recording Mio’s theme



    For the required theme, I choose a 3-part melody. The first one oscillates between major harmonies (joy) and minor (sadness) ; the second part is much more focused on comfort and hope, and finally the 3rd part takes again the first theme by slightly changing the harmonies to give a different colors.

    3rd step – The arrangement and the orchestration

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    We are now entering the most complex phase to me. As a matter of fact, once the melody is obtained, I now need to arrange it and orchestrate it according to the needs of the theme.

    Let’s talk in technical terms: I work with Logic Pro, a Mac software, with two MIDI software (a Yamaha CLP, to play and and a Komplete Kontrol for the effects and the potentiometers). The MIDI keyboards are control surfaces; they don’t produce any sound but allow you to send information to my sequencer (Logic Pro). This one transforms the information into sound according to plug-in (samples or not) that I open.

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    Let’s get back to business. I own a huge quantity of instruments (about 15 000 sounds… I especially use the Komplete series, Albion from Spitfire, and the orchestral suites from East West), which makes an important amount of available samples. In order to choose, I opt for some sound families or certain software in accordance to demand.

    In general, I talk with Jérôme through many emails before arriving to the final idea. Here’s how it happened here:

    – WIP n°1

    I first of all proposed to him an instrumental atmosphere developed in one of my pieces.



    He was okay with it regarding the form, but not in substance, “way too depressing”.

    – WIP n°2

    I got back to work and I sent him this version of the theme :



    I then mixed acoustic instruments and pads.

    I kept the idea of plenitude with round and plain basses. For the crystalline side I used light electronic bells.

    – WIP n°3

    Jérôme asks me to pull off the basses because that makes the music depressing. Without bass, I think something is missing, but I still send it back.



    To Jérôme, the ringings right at the start would need to bring a light note, then, coupled with chorus, the result will be perfect! You would need to put some more lightness in the melody, for it’s globally too bulky.

    – WIP n° 4

    I modify again and enrich it with light percussion. I opt for children chorus singing “Heaven Is The Light” (How beautiful technology is…). I’m starting to hit the bull’s eye.



    You may have noticed a dissonance in the children chorus harmonies. That effect was wanted but I’ve decided to change that, upon Jérôme’s advice. I add a line of kettledrums, of Drum Bass and Easter Island Hit to fill up the low frequencies. I add chimes and voices on some passages to bring some divine elements and here comes the pre-mastering version !!!



    4th step – The mastering

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    It’s about upgrading the standards of the song but also about polishing it to the standards of the rest of the soundtrack. In order to do this, I don’t use external software, for now I prefer to use Logic and create my mastering by using the same methodology. I then apply different effects to the song (equalization, compressors, expanders, stereo, spreader, limitors). This inflates the sound and balances the levels.



    That’s it, you know everything. I propose as a bonus to listen to the same theme but differently orchestrated. This time is a symphonic version (I’m a huge fan of orchestral versions…).

    Orchestrated version



    The work is different here for every instrument and every musical phrase are reworked to humanize everything… It’s a lot of time and work… But this is another story…

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    We hope you liked this Update, don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it. See you soon in the Land of Dreams!

    We love you !!!

    All the Too Kind Studio Team
     
    #8 Hegor, Apr 28, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  9. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Helloooo everyone, we hope you're all okay! Oh good heavens, look at the time! Time for an u-u-u-u-u-pdate!

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    In video games, boss fights are very important. When there is a boss, the player knows that this is the last test, that he/she must give everything to beat him for they can't finish the level if they don't beat the boss. And bosses help the player to realize he/she has passed a milestone, and is now stronger than before, and ready to go through a new level!


    Moreover, bosses are the evil beings, that can cause some beautiful rage quits, and this lovely sound can be heard if you listen carefully : "THIS IS THE CONTROLLER'S FAULT!!"


    I can't really spoil anything here (my bosses are showing me a "NDA" paper I don't remember signing...), I won't tell you the story of this terrible character, but I can at least tell you that the fight that will conclude the first chapter can be summed up in one word : "Epic". Brace yourselves, for Tyracine, the black-hearted shadow, is coming, mouhahaha!


    Animation research

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    Smoke research


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    Color research:


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    Final version in Unity:


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    Well, this concludes our little walk in the Land of Dreams... What do you mean "I haven't told you everything ?" "What's with this appearing hand?"... Well, don't you worry, this will be the subject of our next update, which should come up before the end of the month (yes, you've read that right, we never stop working at Too Kind Studio!)


    In the meantime, I'll leave you this small video to keep you waiting :




    Stay tuned and see you soon in the world of dreams.

    We love you all!

    All the Too Kind Studio Team.
     
  10. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Hello everyone!! So, in the demo (that you can try here : http://tookindstudio.com/en/news-en/pankapu-goes-alpha/), you can play two Aegis : Bravery and Ardour. But what about Faith? Let me introduce you the third Aegis: Faith!!!


    Faith reveals himself and he is joining the fight against the Nightmares

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    A wizard has to believe in him, in his capacity and in the magic himself. Faith is what characterizes all this certainty that our erudite has to control in order to practice his art at its higher level. Armed with just his convictions, he must have an iron will while fighting hordes of nightmare (Indeed he is someone fighting draped only with cloth).

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    Hopefully, the power of Faith is not in his outfit (really chic by the way, you can be both a wizard and classy!) but in the great competency given by the aegis. When he his wearing his azure tunic, Pankapu can look as inoffensive and calm as sleeping water. But don’t fool yourself, under this hood, there is a storm waiting, prepare to unleash tidal wave on his opponent.

    Now let's talk about the gameplay of Faith, the magic spells caster:

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    Here are the animation Gifs of the first movements of Faith: (His first steps... That's touching!)

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    Healing spell:

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    Faith flutters when he jumps:

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    That's all for today, we hope you like this new Aegis!
     
  11. Hegor

    Hegor New Member

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    Omnia Express n°4

    Hello everyone!

    Welcome aboard the Omnia Express n°4, your monthly rendez-vous about the progress of Pankapu!

    We hope you’re doing great! The game’s production is going very well. And today, we have a big announcement to make about the definitive format of the Pankapu games

    Don’t worry, we won’t have you wait any longer: let’s go aboard the Omnia Express!

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    Indeed, you’ve read that right, we’ve made the decision to divide the game into two games, or rather, two seasons

    – Season 1: Pankapu – The Dreamkeeper

    – Season 2: Pankapu – The Nightseeker (working titles)


    This will then allow us to start the console export (we know you’re waiting for them! ;)) right at the end of season 1.

    Concretely, what will be the content of these 2 games?

    Originally, Pankapu was supposed to be a four-episode game. Now, Pankapu is 2 games (or 2 stand-alones), with 2 episodes for each game.

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    By definition, “two standalones”, actually stand alone (Thanks, Sherlock!), that is to say that they can work individually. However, in our case, you’ll be able to transfer your data from the first game to the second game. And more importantly, story will have a continuity.

    The game used to look like that:

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    Now, this is what the game looks like:

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    The core of the game then won’t be changed, the story will be more consequent and divided into two parts. The only thing that’s going to change is that each season will have its own ending, However, there will be a continuity between the two games.


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    Concretely, for the backers, this won’t change anything. The backers will then receive the 4 episodes (so, the two games) as it was planned

    Why choosing to create two games instead of one?

    Given the fact that we’ll have two games instead of one, this means that a console release could be brought forward. Indeed, the episodic format is hard to adapt on consoles for an indie game.

    This separation is then very good news for the backers, for it will allow a quicker console release.

    Those who want Pankapu on consoles will then be able to get the game earlier than planned. As for the titles, those will be full of meaning, and this separation will be very justified by the scenario (Shh, we can’t tell you any more about it for now :)).

    That’s all for today, and feel free to ask if you have any question,

    See you soon in the world of dream!

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    Today we want to present you the project of our friends from Aurora Studio:





    Ilios: Betrayal of Gods is a game crossing over Beat’em all and Platformer, taking place in a world of Greek mythology stylized with Steampunk elements. A game that pays tribute to all our references : Bayonetta, Megaman, Castlevania and of course Saint Seiya!
     

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