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Die for Valhalla!

Rogue-lite beat ‘em up where you take up the role of a Valkyrie and go to battle to make a difference.

Die for Valhalla!
VOTING RESULTS
Yes 61% No 39%

Genre: Action, Beat 'em up, Side Scroller

Developer: Monster Couch

Xbox One PlayStation 4 PC Mac

PITCH

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Platforms: Xbox One PlayStation 4 PC Mac

The game

Die for Valhalla! is a beat ‘em up with a twist. You take up the role of a Valkyrie and go to the battlefield to help Vikings fight for Glory.

Die for Valhalla! is a rogue-lite, the levels are made of modules and every playthrough is different based on your decisions.

The game is meant to be challenging yet fair. There are checkpoints that can be destroyed for an immediate bonus if you are into perma-death.

Your possession powers give you the ability to create your own interesting combat situations.

The game will be available on Windows, Mac, Xbox One and Playstation 4.

We are developing Die for Valhalla! with multiple platforms in mind from the start to avoid last minute porting. We are part of the id@xbox programme and Sony’s partner programme.

With your support we will be able to deliver a piece of pure fun. We plan to release during the second quarter of 2017. Backer-exclusive beta testing period will commence in February 2017.

screenshot1

Features

Rogue-lite beat’em up

valkyrie_idle

  • Levels made of modules.
  • Meant to be challenging.
  • Destructible bonus-infused checkpoints (opt-in perma-death).

Possession powers

  • You play as ethereal Valkyrie who can possess and control vikings.
  • Different Vikings can be thought of as different weapons.
  • Possessing enemies and things enables for interesting combat situations.

Characters progression

  • Divine progress: Valkyrie gains new skills and increase power each level.
  • Human progress: Vikings improve strength on the battlefield whenever they gain enough Glory
  • Temporary progress: Cards found on the battlefield give bonuses and new abilities but are lost when Valkyrie dies.

 spiders

 

Gameplay

Vikings

You are a Valkyrie who can possess Vikings, taking full control of them. There are seven types of Vikings. Each of them comes with a set of special abilities and combos.

Shieldmanshieldman

Description: Men and women who have chosen to fight as warriors. Trained to use the tactical advantages of a shield. Able to block most of the attacks.
Weapon: sword and shield
Attributes: enhanced blocking, endurance

 

Berserk

Berserk

Description: Ferocious warriors of the North, fighting in a nearly uncontrollable trance-like fury. Their unpredictable attacks can break enemy lines.
Weapon: dual axes
Attributes: high strength, low endurance 

 

hunterHunter

Description: In peaceful times they are searching for tracks in forests, but when it comes to fighting, their agility, an accurate eye and a steady hand give them an advantage against enemies.
Weapon: bow
Attributes: agility, ranged attack     

 

Volva

Völva

Description: A shaman and seer. In times of peace people visit them for spiritual advice. In times of trouble their sorcery make them formidable opponents. They use fear and anger against their foes.
Weapon: power of nature
Attributes: magic, ranged attack 

Thrall

Thrall

Description: Slaves in Norse lands. Difficult life taught them that open fight is not always a good idea, sometimes its better to deal with opponents quietly.
Weapon: dual daggers
Attributes: agility, fast attacks   

Ulfhednar

Ulfheðnar

Description: Like berserkers, they fight with reckless savagery and insane fury, but choose strength over speed. Their enormous weapons can cut a man in half in the blink of an eye.
Weapon: two-handed axe
Attributes: slow, powerful attacks

Earl

Earl

Description: Rulers of the territory, chieftains. They know that they can't compare with younger warriors in speed or strength. But they also know that strength and speed is not everything when it comes to fighting. 
Weapon: sword, war cry
Attributes: endurance

  

Possession

There are two ways to take control of a Viking. You can either summon fallen heroes back from Valhalla through their tombstones or you can possess a living Viking and make him a hero. When you need another Viking, the next weapon, you can send the current one back to Valhalla and leave his statue for another time or another player.

possession

 

With the right Valkyrie's skills you can also possess other things and creatures. From barrels, bushes and traps through various enemies even the bosses.

Barell possessionPossess enemy

Progression

Divine progress

Each time your Valkyrie dies you can forge a new rune which makes you stronger. If you have gained enough Glory on the battlefield the Valkyrie levels up and she can obtain a new skill.

 upgrade screen

Examples of skills:

  • Glory deals damage to enemies
    Glory orbs can be maneuvered to hit and deal damage to enemies while following Valkyrie.
  • Barrel kill
    Valkyrie gains extra Glory for killing enemies using the environment, such as exploding barrels or traps.
  • Thanks For Nothing
    There are empty fields on Runes screen that provide no bonuses. With this skill they award a small amount of Glory.

Human progress

Possessed Vikings gain Glory by killing enemies and rescuing other Vikings. The more Glory they get, the more powerful they become. But there is a catch. When a Viking goes back to Valhalla (dead or sent by a Valkyrie) they give up all of their Glory to Odin. Next time you bring them back to life they will be rookies that need to level from scratch.

viking progress

Temporary progress

During the game you will find special cards. These boons give you new bonuses and skills and they will help you gain more Glory and kill even more monsters. You lose them when your Valkyrie dies.

You gain cards by completing challenges and finding treasure chests. Each time you play you get different cards and adjusting your play-style to your card hand makes them more effective.

Here are a few examples of the cards:

Cards

Levels 

Die for Valhalla! is fairly challenging but each time you die and come back the world is different. Our levels are made of modules and they change based on your choices and achievements such as saving someone’s life.

There will be 5 different Realms to fight for. We consider the Realms to be like TV series seasons, in which levels are episodes that tell a story, but the seasons are largely independent from each other. Each of the 5 Realms consists of around 8 levels. 

The game focuses on high replay value. A single playthrough will take about 2-3 hours.

New Realms (work in progress):

underworld

Iceland

Couch co-op

4 Valkyries

We are focused on making the game fun to play on your own, however, we think playing with friends improves the experience so Die for Valhalla! can be played together with up to 4 players on a single screen.

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Core gameplay design principles

What we set out to achieve with our gameplay design? Those principles guide our decision-making.

  1. There are many Interesting combat situations. Game requires the player to use crowd control (through the environment and through Viking skills), fighting an enemy might require a certain strategy (like enemies with shields, etc.), assessment of the Glorious Path where killing enemies in a certain order means earning more Glory, damage rush situations and a couple of ways to avoid damage (through smart movement, dodging or blocking/parrying).
  2. The player has full control over their actions. The game feels fluid and responsive. When in doubt we choose responsiveness and feel of control.
  3. Half an hour gameplay session is enjoyable and self-contained. You can drop in, make some progress and drop out.
  4. Appealing to streamers and players. Stream engagement through chat, combining direct influence, structured audience feedback and audience call outs.

flying heads

Alpha gameplay video

                           

 

 Story

The world is in peril. Due to Loki’s scheming, hosts of monsters lead by giants are invading all Realms. Norse warriors, who lately became much too peace-loving and apathetic, aren’t prepared to defend their homes.

The gods fear the end is near and suspect Loki to be the cause of not only the monster invasion but also the Vikings' lack of vigor.

Red Valkyrie Cinematic

Odin and Freya order Valkyries to inspire the fighting spirit of the Vikings and remind them of their role as the protectors of all Realms.

The Valkyries are promised a reward for their service.

You take up the role of a Valkyrie and set out to become more than just a pawn in the gods game.

Valkyrie - Valkyries are supernatural figures associated with fate, they go to battle to choose who dies on that day (from Old Norse valkyrja “chooser of the slain”).

valkyrie attack 

Plot principles

Similarly to gameplay design principles - what we set out to achieve with our plot design?

  1. Norse mythology taken lightly. We will use references to Poetic Edda and Prose Edda and other Viking sagas but we will avoid using too many confusing terms, slowly revealing as the game progresses.
  2. World is grim and bloody and the little warriors are dead serious about it. Vikings are easily offended and very proud and so are their gods. Part of the game’s humor will stem from the contrast of the warriors being cute and overly serious at the same time.
  3. Cyclic nature of the world feeds into the rogue-lite game nature. You save runes and unlock Vikings between playthroughs.
  4. Your decisions have consequences. Certain places might not be accessible and paths will diverge to different places and events.
  5. There are Hero’s Journeys. Overarching story of the Valkyries who want to save the world from Giants from Beyond The Fence will be a centerpiece of the game but at the same time stories of the individual Vikings will be told as they answer their calls to adventures and prevail or die in glory.

barrels

 rain

 

Why collective?

We are a small company based in Poznan, Poland. Die for Valhalla! is our first title. A year ago we have set out to create a game for PCs and consoles. We have been pouring our passion into this project six days a week ever since and we will continue to do so. We took Die for Valhalla! to a number of expos and conventions with the help from our friends and Indie Games Poland foundation and it has been well received during the hands-on demos.

Wherever we went we asked for honest feedback and we make sure to listen and act on it. 

With Square Enix Collective and crowdfunding, we would love to gather your feedback and give ourselves more time to spend on Die for Valhalla! to be able to build a great game for everyone to enjoy.

One of the main reasons for the crowdfunding campaign is to find out if there is an audience for online multiplayer mode in Die for Valhalla!

Often when showcasing the game at events someone would come up and say that they would love to play the game with their friends or family members. We heard a lot of stories where people grew up and really only get to play games if they consider it ‘family time’ or ‘hanging out with friends time’. We love that we can answer "Yes, you can play together!". For some people it's an issue that we have to add "...locally".

Being a three person team and given the resources (time) we had when planning the game we’ve decided against adding online multiplayer as a core feature. Now, seeing that the gameplay really starts to shine and hearing people ask for that feature specifically, we are considering it.

Die for Valhalla! has the potential to become a great game. Would you support that idea?

 

Follow us

Please let us know what you think about the game and the way we present it. What do you like, what you don’t like, what in your opinion would add to the experience? There are still plenty of decisions to make about Die for Valhalla! and we would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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FEEDBACK (11)

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  • Artur Krystek
    Programming. In the past he has worked on titles such as Windows Phone port of Larry Suite and Longbow Assault 3D (840k downloads in Windows Phone Store). He is a fan of Magic and keeps a handful of d20 on his desk. Also makes funny sounds when drinking Yerba.
  • Marek Rutkowski
    Graphics design. His previous work include mobile version of the Eclipse board game and creating logos of some of the better known Polish Indies like Robot Gentleman and Destructive Creations. He says he can’t draw and it might be true.
  • Krzysztof Żarczyński
    Programming, business things. He worked on games for children before, mostly educational stuff. He loves making games that are actually fun and writing silly descriptions for his teammates.