Pankapu : The Dreamkeeper
6 years ago by Pankapu
Hey everyone! 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$, and we got 53,000$). Now, the game is scheduled to be released this summer.
You can downnload the alpha version here : http://www.tookindstudio.com/en/news-en/pankapu-goes-alpha/
Pankapu : The Dreamkeeper is a platform/action game, told like a tale, narrative and episodic. It's aimed to be a simple game, like the ones we grew up with, made to be fun :)
Story : Discover the dreamlike world of Omnia, control Pankapu, a tiny being controlled by the God of Dreams, Iketomi, and defeat the hordes of nigthmare that try to infiltrate Omnia. Discover the mystery behind that invasion, and lift the veil on ancestral secrets.
In Pankapu, there are two levels of reading:
-The story of Pankapu, epic and naive
-The one about the life of Jaha'rell (the man telling the story), dark and tragic.
- Episodic game
- Switch in real time between 3 Aegis (acting like jobs)
- Nebula system : a skill-tree * You can re-explore the stages to find new weapons
- Poetic soundtrack composed by Ganaé and Hiroki Kikuta (composer of Secret of Mana)
- PC, Mac, and Linux. And it will be released on PS4/Xbox One later.
You can find more info about our campaign and our stretch goals here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tookindstudio/pankapu-the-dreamkeeper.
Trailer : https://youtu.be/EyIlJe2sgdI
Official website : http://www.tookindstudio.com/en/
Facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/Pankapu
Twitter : http://twitter.com/Pankapu
Instagram : https://instagram.com/too_kind_studio/
Don't hesitate to try it and give us some feedback ! :)
Pankapu 6 years ago
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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
All the different levels that you will go through are nonlinear and can be re-explored as much as you want. With the help of your new powers, new paths will appears, allowing you to find hidden secrets all over Omnia. Moreover, this is how you will find fragments of Djaha’Rell’s lost memory and discover all the mysteries surrounding his life.
See you next time, we love you all !
Pankapu 6 years ago
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
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:
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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:
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!
Pankapu 6 years ago
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 ?
Ohiti In Spine
Final In-Game Version
Pankapu 6 years ago
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 [b]Tyracine[/b], the black-hearted shadow, is coming, mouhahaha!
[B]Animation research [/b]
[b]Color research: [/b]
[b]Final version in Unity:[/b]
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 :
[url=https://youtu.be/LSmBi6U4LlE] You can watch it right here [/url]
Stay tuned and see you soon in the world of dreams.
We love you all!
All the Too Kind Studio Team.
Pankapu 6 years ago
Do you remember the end of the second [b]Omnia Express[/b] ? … What ? You haven’t seen it yet ? Unacceptable! You must fix that, right here, right now!
As I was saying, a few weeks ago, we showed you a small video of [b]Pankapu[/b] getting grabbed and thrown by some mysterious monster… Today, that monster has decided to show himself in public!
Let me introduce you… the Slap!!
Slap’s comment : [i]It’s about time! Finally! I’m not supposed to be a meme![/i]
I’m pretty sure the first question that comes to your mind is : “But how this nice (he is!) little monster came to be this way?”
As you know, [b]Pankapu’s Bravery Aegis[/b] bears a shield. We then had in mind to create an enemy that forced the player to use that shield.
Slap’s comment : [i]Grgrgr, I already hate this shield![/i]
We didn’t want a monster firing projectiles, since those can be dodged by jumping. We hence needed a monster directly hitting the player, and if the player doesn’t use the shield to protect himself, he’ll take some damages. We thus thought to create an imposing monster, with limbs directly attacking the player. And if [b]Pankapu[/b] doesn’t use the shield, he’ll automatically take some damages.
[i]What are you talking about ? The player doesn’t need to use the shield! I promise, I’ll be very nice with him! [/i]
In this early concept, we already had the idea of a static monster being able to easily move its limbs to attack [b]Pankapu[/b].
[i]Mouhahaha, I loved those sharp limbs![/i]
Here, [b]Slap[/b] is covered with purple and black colors, typical of nightmares trying to invade [b]Omnia[/b].
[i]What can I do ? You have to be classy as a bad guy![/i]
On this picture, you can see an important change compared to the first concepts. Indeed, rather than creating a monster that could simply attack the player with blades, it was more interesting to create a monster that could not just attack the player, but grab and grasp him (not friendly, unfortunately…) and then throw him. This allows the enemy to completely differentiate from the other nightmares. However, if the player uses his shield to protect himself before getting attacked, the [b]Slap[/b] will be stunned, which will allow [b]Pankapu[/b] to kick his ass! ([b]Pankapu[/b] might be little, but he’s strong!)
[i]Strong ? You’ve got to be kidding me ! I’ll destroy him![/i]
Now that Slap’s final concept was found, and that we had in mind the way [b]Slap[/b] would attack [b]Pankapu[/b], we now needed to create fitting animations and assets.
[i]Of course you need animations and assets! I’m not an inanimate statue![/i]
The tentacle basis was kept, but we improved it thanks to the hand. Quite practical to shake hands, grab salt or… a [b]Pankapu[/b]!
But… How can such a big monster hide ? It doesn’t seem happy at all! You bet I’m not happy!
[i]You know what it’s like to live underground and wait for a hero to come ?![/i]
Here, [b]Slap[/b] is now animated! The idea of an imposing monster attacking [b]Pankapu[/b] is present. Slap might be static, it’s nevertheless strong! [b]Pankapu[/b] will have to use tricks in order to destroy this monster…
[i]Look at this moves, this agility… Pankapu will never be can’t compete with my class![/i]
Now you know a little bit more about “[b]Slap[/b]“! An enemy that could be very dangerous! Your shield will be more than necessary when you face him, for you will not only be protected against its attacks, but in addition to that, [b]Slap[/b] will be stunned by the shield… This will be the moment to show him what you’re made of!
[i]It’s so unfair! Let me say this one more time to be clear: I HATE THIS SHIELD![/i]
That's all for today! What do you think ? Do you like him ? Tell us!
All the Too Kind Studio Team
Pankapu 6 years ago
What is this mysterious thing flying above the Lush forest?! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an Ikea furniture of which the instruction manual’s been lost!
All I can say for now, is that this artifact is full of the mystical power of the Hymn Mio. But what does he do ? Who is he ? What does he want ? Well, if you want to find out my friends, you’ll have to play Pankapu!
Pankapu 6 years ago
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
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
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.
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
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…).
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…
Pankapu 6 years ago
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 ?!)
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!
We love you!!
All the Too Kind Studio team
Pankapu 6 years ago
Faith reveals himself and he is joining the fight against the Nightmares
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).
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:
Here are the animation Gifs of the first movements of Faith: (His first steps... That's touching!)
Faith flutters when he jumps:
That's all for today, we hope you like this new Aegis!