Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

The Dead Flower Case

Today I’m boosting the signal for a new steampunk adventure game: The Dead Flower Case, because it sounded cool, and because it’s fun to help out other steampunk enthusiasts. ūüôāposter_dimoso-thedeadflowerscaseThe campaign for the Steampunk adventure game The Dead Flower Case for IOS, Android, Mac and PC is finally live on Kickstarter at http://kck.st/1bj3nGo.

Created by adventure game veterans of Mando Productions, the game’s distinctive style is based on the Steampunk sculptures of acclaimed Belgian artist Stephane Halleux, whose character Mr Hublot is also the main hero of an Oscar-nominated short movie.

The Dead Flowers Case is a 2.5D murder/mystery point and click adventure, set in a mechanised, retro-style dystopian world in which workers take Nevrovitamin pills so they never have to take a break. All plant life has long since been eliminated, leading police to investigate why some dead flowers have been found next to the body of a murdered factory worker. Players will have to use tools, interrogate people and use two archaic machines to solve the case.

A video presentation of the title is available at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1981824375/the-dead-flowers-case

Generous backers of the game have the chance to receive exclusive artworks, collector’s boxes, limited edition 3D-printed statues of the game characters (at a much cheaper price than Stephane’s sculptures), signed by the artist, as well be part of the production as beta testers, and even go to Paris to meet the team.

The Dead Flowers Case opens on Kickstarter
Steampunk-style murder/mystery adventure coming to PC, Mac & Tablets

Paris, FR – 11 November 2013 – Independent game developer Mando Productions today announced that their highly anticipated title The Dead Flowers Case is now open for backing on Kickstarter. Mando Productions, led by the creative minds behind best-selling classic adventure game Syberia, has teamed up with acclaimed Steampunk sculptor and artist St√©phane Halleux, to bring his amazing universe of characters to life in a point and click murder mystery adventure for PC, Mac and Tablets (Android and iOS). St√©phane Halleux is also the creative force behind ‚ÄėMr Hublot’, recently shortlisted in the Best Animated Short Film category in the 86th Academy Awards.

Backers of the project will have a chance to own bespoke items from the game including artbooks and limited edition character statues signed and authenticated by Stéphane Halleux himself. They’ll also have a chance to meet the artist and the game developers in Paris.

The Dead Flowers Case is set in a fantasy mechanised ‚ÄúSteampunk‚ÄĚ alternate reality in which flowers and plants have long since become extinct and the world runs to (apparent) mechanical perfection. However, this precise order of things is thrown into chaos when the body of a senior employee at a car factory is found dead at his desk. The only clue to his murder are the dead flowers placed by his side. From this point, the player assumes the role of detective, exploring the game‚Äôs world, questioning its strange and colourful citizens, and uncovering more clues that will eventually unravel the mystery as to who committed the terrible crime. The game‚Äôs 3D characters are all fully rendered in real-time 3D by the game engine against pre-designed, highly detailed backdrops.

‚ÄúThe Dead Flowers Case is a humorous and visually arresting murder mystery that we‚Äôre developing in the best traditions of classic point and click adventures so well-loved by fans of the genre,‚ÄĚ said Michel Bams, Co-Founder of Mando Productions. ‚ÄúBy merging Stephan‚Äôs amazing and striking visual designs with some of the best game developer talent in the business, we‚Äôre confident that we‚Äôre creating a unique and memorable game that will be a hit with fans of the genre. Our aim is to create a vibrant gameworld by rendering all the characters in real time 3D against the highly detailed environments.‚ÄĚ

To develop the game Mando are asking for $290,000. Donations can be made in sums ranging from $1 to $10,000 and investors will receive a range of items that includes T-shirts, soundtrack, limited edition 3D figurines, the chance to be part of the beta test and even a journey to Paris, depending on the level of investment made.

For more information about the game visit http://bit.ly/DeadFlowersCase

See the Kickstarter campaign on http://kck.st/1bj3nGo

Follow the developers on Twitter @MandoProd or like the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dead-Flowers-Case/540216469377677

About Mando Production
Founded in 2010, Mando is an independent game development company. The team of around twenty people is led by industry veterans Michel Bams et Olivier Fontenay. The company works on creative and original projects for digital distribution. Previous products include Yéti on fury, Hills of Glory 3D, Babel Rising and Babel Rising 3D (PS3, XBox, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Rim, Windows 8), Cardboard Castle, Hills of Glory : WW2, Babel Running.

Media Contact
For more information please contact
Valentina Ciolino, dimoso
valentina@dimoso.com +44 (0) 207 033 2660

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Menorah courtesy of Clockwerks


I apologize for posting Thursday’s guest post late.¬† There were some, um, snags.¬† But fortunately¬†one of my Steampunk¬†writing students was able to fill in.¬† Please welcome Trey Delvon¬†Mack, who will be reviewing the Steampunk video game Skies of Arcadia.

Stumbling into anime and manga at a young age, Trey Delvon¬†Mack, identified only by his alias “Saitou¬†Takagi” became captivated by the unique world originating from Japan. He always have had a knack for writing stories while secretly harboring a desire to professionally write manga. Meet Saitou¬†Takagi, whose motto is: “Live in your world, die in mine!”

Skies of Arcadia: Steampunk Video Game
by Trey Delvon Mack/Saitou Takagi

Since enrolling in Suzanne Lazear’s¬†Steampunk¬†writing class, I was completely enthralled with the concepts, ideas, and theoretical worlds of Steampunk. Almost immediately I began noticing elements of Steampunk¬†in several forms of media as well as literature. I compiled a detailed list for Suzanne that reveals the elements of Steampunk in media.

Towards the end of the class I was told about a video game for the Sega Dreamcast gaming system (one of the best systems I’ve ever come across) called Skies of Arcadia. The game’s story focuses around Vyse, a young pirate in a Jules Verne, and his friends as they attempt to stop the Valuan Empire from reviving ancient weapons with the potential to destroy the world.

The story opens with a young Silvite¬†woman named Fina sailing through the night skies in her tiny Silver airship. Not far behind her, Valuan¬†Admiral Alfonso is in hot pursuit under orders from Lord Galcian¬†to capture her. Alfonso opens fire on and disables Fina’s ship long enough to capture her before it plummets into Deep Sky, but just as she is being brought onboard his warship, a Blue Rogue vessel arrives with the intent of robbing the Valuan¬†vessel. Vyse¬†and Aika¬†of the Blue Rogues jump from the Albatross onto Alfonso’s flagship and fight their way to the rear cargo hold, prompting Alfonso to flee on a lifeboat while leaving Fina behind along with the war beast Antonio, who is quickly defeated by the Rogues. Vyse¬†and Aika¬†bring Fina back to their clan’s ship, which Vyse pilots back to their secret hideout, Pirate Island (disguised as a small village).

While watching the sunset, Vyse and Aika see a Moonstone fall from the skies onto nearby Shrine Island. The next day they travel to Shrine Island to retrieve the Moonstone, a concentrated form of airship fuel, leaving Fina behind in the care of their clan. After recovering the moonstone, Vyse and Aika return to Pirate Island to find it obliterated by the Valuan Armada. Fina, Dyne, and his crew have been captured by the Armada and taken to the capital city, with the Albatross destroyed. What starts as a simple rescue mission becomes a struggle for survival amid a looming world war.

Shortly after leaving Pirate Island, Vyse¬†and Aika¬†are shipwrecked by the legendary arcwhale¬†Rhaknam. They are rescued by a callous but good-hearted fisherman named Drachma, who is hunting Rhaknam. They manage to convince Drachma to take them to Valua¬†City and rescue their friends from death row, luring him with the prospect of a powerful “Harpoon Cannon” that is to be found in Valua. Upon going through the catacombs of lower city, saving the Blue Rogues, rescuing Fina from a rail car, and making a miraculous escape from the Grand Fortress (a history-making feat), the Blue Rogues return to Pirate Island, where Fina admits the real reason that the Empire would go to such trouble to capture her.

Fina’s mission is to travel Arcadia in search of the Six Moon Crystals, the purest form of moonstones, which can be used to summon living weapons called the Gigas. Created by the Old World, these weapons are very powerful and, with all 6, Valua¬†could control the world, with the threat of unleashing the Gigas to help them. Because of this, Fina is to recover all 6 moon crystals before Valua¬†gains control of them. Fina recruits Vyse¬†and Aika to her cause and together they set off to find the Red moon crystal.

After traveling to the port city of Maramba, Drachma leaves them there to acquire the Crystal while Drachma, again, leaves to find Rhaknam. There the party meets a young dancer named Belleza, who loans them a ship to get to the Temple of Prynn. After recovering the Red Crystal, Belleza¬†reveals that she is actually the commander of the 4th fleet of the Valuan¬†armada, steals the Red Crystal, and awakens the Red Gigas, Recumen. Luckily, the Little Jack arrives just in time to rescue Vyse, Aika¬†and Fina. The party then tries to fight the Gigas, but their attacks are to no avail. Instead, they attack Belleza’s ship and convince her to call off the Gigas.

After the fight, the Little Jack acquires the Magic Cannon (allows the ship to shoot spells such as Pyri, Crystales, etc.) and a new engine that allows the Little Jack to cross the South Ocean into the land of the Green Moon, I’xa¬†Taka. The crew then learns that the Green Crystal lies within the Lost City of Rixis. They then head to the Hortekan¬†King’s Hideout to find more about the city, but is interrupted by Admiral De Loco, who is burning the forest to look for the Lost City. After defeating him, the crew heads to Moonstone Mountain to rescue one of the High Priests. After escaping Alfonzo¬†and Antonio II, they eventually find Rixis, but the crystal had been stolen by the king and used to awaken the Green Gigas, Grendal, to drive the Valuans¬†away from I’xa¬†Taka. Finally, they manage to lure Grendal into a chasm and recover the Green Crystal.

Next, Vyse¬†heads to Valua¬†to recover the Yellow Crystal. Unfortunately, the gate is sealed and Ramirez, the 6th Admiral of the Armada and somehow close to Fina because of her knowledge about him, ambushes the Little Jack. They manage to escape, but Rhaknam¬†is found and Drachma is bound to catch him. Then, Ramirez’s flagship attacks the Little Jack, and sets it on fire. Vyse, Aika, and Fina manage to escape on lifeboats, but are blasted off course. Drachma, however, remained on the ship, now attached to Rhaknam¬†via the Harpoon Cannon. Vyse¬†lands on a deserted isle, while Aika¬†and Fina are rescued by an Air Pirate named Clara and dropped off in Nasrad, the capital of Nasr. Both parties find halves of a map leading to Daccat’s¬†Isle, where it is rumored that all treasures of the legendary Air Pirate, Daccat, lie. Vyse, now accompanied by another rogue named Gilder, head to Daccat’s¬†Isle, while Aika¬†and Fina go there also, but they land on different sides of it. After the two groups find each other and escape the island, they head back to Nasrad to find it destroyed by the Armada. Then, they are captured yet again by Ramirez into the Grand Fortress.

The party then defeats Admiral Vigoro¬†and escapes to the harbor, but luckily Prince Enrique, troubled by his mother’s corruption, hands over his flagship, the Delphinus, to the party. Then they blast a hole in the Grand Fortress itself with the all-powerful Moon Stone Cannon. They then head back to the deserted isle, which is actually named Crescent Isle. They then meet a few men who promise to both construct a base there and create improvements to the Delphinus, which allow it to pass through stone reefs and sky rifts. They then set out to the lands of the Blue Moon, but is impassable because of a large sky rift called the Dark Rift. After battling with the 2nd admiral, Gregorio, they find a hole in it and pass through it into Yafutoma, which is much like Japan/Chinese. The party then ventures into the great mountain and recover the Blue Crystal, but are betrayed by the king’s brother. They then escape to Tenkou¬†Island and recover both the Delphinus and the Blue Crystal, and also defeat the Blue Gigas. They also get a scroll, which when built by Braham, will allow the Delphinus to fly much higher and lower. Also, they discover that the world is round by flying east of Yafutoma¬†and ending up into I’xa Taka.

They then take a tour of their newly constructed base and then go to the Lands of Ice, in the far south. They then, after navigating the lost city of Glacia, they discover that Rhaknam is the Purple Gigas, and find Drachma and the Little Jack there too. Rhaknam then dies, but gives off the Purple Crystal too.

With their new upgraded engine in place, Vyse¬†and his crew rush off to retrieve the last remaining crystal from within the Maw of Tartas. Submerging below the clouds and carefully sailing through a maze-like tunnel, they find themselves deep in the underbelly of Yeligar¬†the Yellow Gigas. After waking the Gigas, the Delphinus does battle with the enraged monster and defeats it. With the five Crystals in hand, the party’s long crystal hunt is finally over. However the group discover that the only way Fina can return to her home is to retrieve her Silvite¬†pod ship that fell into Deep Sky after Alfonso attacked her. Vyse¬†and co. travel to Dangral¬†Island (Valua’s¬†secret base in Deep Sky)after getting a tip from Gilder that they have developed a new type of engine and reinforced layers capable of safely descending into the darkness below the clouds. Successfully stealing the schematics from De Loco, the crew make their escape only to be stopped by Lord Galcian¬†and Gregorio. Prince Enrique prepares to battle with his uncle once more, but Gregorio reveals that he is not here to fight him. Challenging Galcian¬†on his own, he allows the pirates the time needed to escape with the Prince safely off Dangral Island. With a heavy heart, Enrique leaves Gregorio to his fate and flees.

Days later, Vyse’s¬†crew finishes the upgrades and the Delphinus is finally able to submerge into Deep Sky. As they prepare to leave, Enrique announces that this will be his last voyage with Vyse¬†as he must return to Valua¬†to tell his mother of Galcian’s¬†treachory¬†as well as try to convince her once again to abandon her campaign for world conquest. With that, they travel below the clouds and recover Fina’s ship, but is ambushed by Admiral De Loco and his newly upgraded ship. After a heated battle, the Delphinus destroys the Chameleon and put an end to De Loco’s insanity. Returning to the surface, Vyse¬†and the others drop Enrique off at Sailor’s Island and bid him farewell and a safe journey home. The entire crew decide¬†to throw Fina a going away party and celebrate into the night. Out of nowhere, Crescent Isle is bombarded by canon¬†fire forcing the group to run for shelter. Vyse, Aika¬†and Fina rush out to investigate and are confronted by Ramirez, whom demands they surrender and relinquish the 5 crystals in the pirate’s possession. The group do battle with Ramirez and are unable to touch the immensely skilled Admiral. The group suffers their first major defeat and lose the crystals to the Silvite¬†warrior. Aika¬†points out though that they haven’t won until he has all 6 but Ramirez scoffs at her remark and reveals the secret to the life force of all Silvites; the silver crystal. All Silvites¬†have a silver crystal embedded in their bodies, only through death can it be removed and utilized. With this said, he attempts to force the silver crystal within Fina out but is stopped when Captain Clara’s ship canons distract him long enough for Vyse¬†and Aika to come to Fina’s defense. Ramirez is forced to retreat and leaves the crew to burn in the fire’s of what was once their new home.

Even while left with almost nothing, the crew doesn’t lose heart and spend the entire day salvaging whats left of their island and begin to rebuild. After taking some time to rest and think, Fina comes to a decision and asks Vyse¬†and Aika¬†to accompany her to the Great Silver Shrine to meet with the Elders and ask for their guidance. Gilder, overhears and decides to tag along as well as he believes things are about to get interesting. Using Fina’s small ship, the four travel beyond the sky towards Fina’s home hovering over the world of Arcadia. Traversing through the odd shrine, the group meet the Elders and their leader Elder Prime; Fina’s father figure. Vyse, Aika, Fina and Gilder then learn the truth about Arcadia from Elder Prime. Long ago, the Silvites¬†used their Gigas (Zelos) to call down the Rains of Destruction to essentially “reset” the world. After the Rains, they created a magical seal around Zelos¬†and sent Soltis¬†(the Silvite’s¬†lost continent) into Deep Sky. The 6 crystals combined could break the seal containing Zelos¬†and allow the owner of the Crystals to call down the Rains at will. Vyse¬†and the others are appalled by this horrible truth but before the Elder’s could defend their decision, Ramirez and Galcian¬†arrive and murder Elder Prime to gain the much needed¬†Silver Crystal to complete their plans. Vyse¬†and co. give chase and follow the evil men to Dangral Island.

Meanwhile, Enrique confronts his mother on Galcian’s¬†traitorous actions but finds that Alfonso has already beat him to the punch. However, she doesn’t realize that Galcian¬†is much more crafty than she believes and refuses to give up on the path to domination. Enrique resolves to strike Queen Teodora and Alfonso down but is knocked out by Belleza¬†and taken away. Back on Dangral, the group descends to deep sky on the platform elevator, but Vigoro¬†catches up and challenges them to a battle but falls to the party’s teamwork. The giant Admiral tells them where to find Galcian¬†and decides to give up the military life for a life of pirating. Vyse¬†and the others finally catch up to the Admirals but are attacked by a sentinel. The crew defeat the sentinel but it does its job in stalling them long enough for Galcian¬†and Ramirez to awaken Zelos¬†and raise the lost continent of Soltis. Vyse¬†and co. are forced to retreat and are just barely able to reach the surface. The whole world can feel the winds change as Soltis¬†raises from the depths of darkness with an impenetrable shield surrounding it. Lord Galcian¬†decides to give Valua¬†“a little rain” and unleashes the Rains of Destruction from the Yellow Moon. Belleza¬†safely guides Enrique to safety, but Admiral Alonso and Queen Teodora are killed by falling debris inside the castle. When the Prince is awoken by his savior, he is heartbroken to see that Valua has been wiped completely off the map.

Upon returning to Crescent Isle, the crew try to come up with a plan to stop Galcian¬†and Ramirez but with the death toll of Valua¬†and their failure to stop the return of Soltis¬†weighing heavily upon them, the stress is finally getting to Vyse. Before Vyse¬†is ready to throw in the towel, Drachma returns to remind him of his pledge never to give up. One by one, Vyse’s¬†friends and even some foes turn up to offer their support. Baltor, Gordo, the Yafutoman¬†Navy, Dyne, Clara, even Belleza¬†shows up with the Prince of Valua¬†alive and well. Before he knows it, Vyse¬†has assembled a fleet of pirates under his command to combat Galcian’s¬†forces. Belleza¬†visits a restless Vyse¬†in the middle of the night to tell him that she will not be participating in the battle against her own men and says she has something important to take care of. Leaving him with a kiss, the busty¬†Admiral wishes him luck. Vyse¬†notices that both Aika and Fina are still up and talks with the both of them to put them at ease. After sharing a touching moment with both of them and easing their anxiety they all go to sleep and rest up for the destined battle.

The next day, the Delphinus leads the charge against Galcian’s¬†massive armada and flying airbase, the Hydra. Galcian¬†instructs Ramirez to retreat back to Soltis¬†in case he needs to use the Rains again. Although worried, Ramirez does as his respected superior commands and awaits further orders inside the shielded continent. After taking care of waves of warships, a standoff between Vyse’s¬†ship and Galcian’s¬†airbase ensues. After enough damage is done to the base, Vyse¬†and his friends board the ship to fight the Lord of the Armada face to face. After navigating through the massive airbase, the group finally arrives at the bridge and take on the battle hardened Lord Galcian. After they defeat the evil Lord, he escapes into the Bridge and declares that they’ll all perish in the Rains he’ll soon call upon. All hope of victory is seemed lost until Belleza¬†arrives in her ship and approaches Galcian’s¬†bridge in ramming speed. To stop the man she admired and loved, she rams her ship into the surprised villian’s¬†Bridge and dies with him in the ensuing explosion. Vyse¬†and friends are saddened by her sacrifice and retreat back to the Delphinus. Meanwhile Ramirez, distraught after witnessing the man he most admired and respected die, holds Vyse¬†and the world responsible and summons the Rains to destroy them all. Unable to retaliate, all the young captain and his crew can do is watch as¬†Zelos¬†sends a ray to the Silver Moon to ensure their demise. To Fina’s and everyone’s surprise, the Elders of the Great Silver Shrine send their home plummeting to Arcadia and blocks the ray from reaching the moon. Saying goodbye to their beloved child Fina, the Elders resolve to repent for their sin of calling the Rains long ago and allow the new world to decide its own fate. The Silver Shrine rams into the tip of Soltis¬†Tower and vanish in an explosion of light, successfully breaking the impenetrable shield and allowing Vyse to take the fight to Ramirez himself.

The party wastes no time in entering Soltis¬†through Shrine Island, now revealed to once be a remaining piece of Soltis. Vyse¬†and friends traverse the inside of the massive continent and reach a saddened and enraged Ramirez. The Admiral promises to kill Vyse, Fina and everyone else for Galcian’s¬†sake and engages them in battle. Ramirez isn’t as focused as before, therefore making him more vulnerable and more of a match for the party to handle this time around. After being defeated the crazed Silvite¬†sacrifices his life to Zelos¬†to give it the power needed to destroy his enemies. Fina pleads with him to stop, but Ramirez declares that the man she knew is long dead and disappears into the shapeless monster. The crew retreats as the silver Gigas grows to enormous size and destroys Soltis¬†tower when it reveals its monstrous new spherical form. Fina points out that it is not finished transforming and they must attack it now while its still¬†vulnerable. If they let it reach its final form, Zelos will become invincible and no one will be able to stop it. The Delphinus then engages the Gigas in battle for the fate of the world and just before it reaches its final form, the Delphinus delivers the killing shot and the pirates succeed in defeating the final, strongest Gigas.

Their victory is short-lived however as a piece of Zelos¬†lands on the deck of their ship and reveals itself to be Ramirez, now horrifically¬†merged with the Gigas. Driven to madness, Ramirez attacks the crew in his last attempt for revenge, but is eventually defeated by the combined efforts of Vyse, Aika¬†and Fina. The Ramirez-Zelos¬†hybrid disappears in a blinding light and leaves behind the silver crystal once embedded in the Silvite’s¬†hand. Vyse¬†honors Ramirez with Fina’s permission by giving the fallen sailor a pirates funeral by returning his crystal to the skies. Soltis¬†sinks back into Deep Sky never to be disturbed again and the victorious army of Air Pirates sail back to Cresent¬†Isle for the feast of a lifetime. After some time, Enrique marries Moegi¬†and the two gather up the survivors of the Rains and oversee the reconstruction of Valua¬†under their peaceful rule. Vyse, Aika¬†and even Fina become full fledged¬†Air Pirates with decorated Captain Vyse commanding a new ship as they sail off into the sky.

After playing this game, I was amazed. I never knew that someone could write a story so intense and transpose it into video game form. I am thankful that I had the privilege of meeting Suzanne and attending her class.

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