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Children of Zodiarcs
A story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus; a world divided by affluence and poverty. Take control of Nahmi & her fellow outcasts, utilising a brand new deck and dice based combat system to strike a blow to the noble Lords’ and Ladies.
War of Zodiarcs is a classic Tactical JRPG that mixes traditional tactical gameplay with the thrill of cards and dice. Follow the journey of a young hero who must lead his party into the heart of an enemy nation and learn that sometimes the burden of becoming the man everyone expects, can be too much to bear.
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A game that blends Tactical JRPG, cards, and dice to create an exciting new gaming experience that requires tactical, minute-to-minute planning in every battle. Planned release for PC, console, and handheld gaming devices (PSVita & N3DS).
War of Zodiarcs is inspired by our love of tactical games like Shining Force and Final Fantasy Tactics, where you were required to think and plan ahead as your small group takes on a superiorly numbered force. In War of Zodiarcs, you determine your angle of attack, position your units, and take out your enemies in your march towards victory.
Why Cards and Dice?
We want to capture the experience of boardgames with War of Zodiarcs. Specifically, the experience of drawing cards and rolling dice. That emotional rollercoaster where you’re filled with anticipation and tension as you prepare to flip the card or throw the dice, and then fist-pump in success when you get the result you want! Or that pleasant surprise when you get something you didn’t expect but realize it opens up a whole new tactical approach that you didn’t see before...
We love JRPGs. They are what truly got us into gaming in the first place. With War of Zodiarcs, we want to stay true to what we love about JRPGs. Namely, the deep narrative with a large cast of complex and flawed characters that engage you on an emotional level, all taking place within a colorful and lore-filled world. War of Zodiarcs is a “coming of age” story that captures the hardship of growing up. Becoming an adult is not as simple as time passing; it's about responsibility, suffering, and personal sacrifice, and we want to tell that tale in War of Zodiarcs.
Tactical JRPG tightly fused with cards and dice is THE primary goal of War of Zodiarcs, so an engaging and innovative combat system is the main focus for the game.
A NEW STYLE OF TACTICAL COMBAT
Tactical combat using cards and dice is at the heart of War of Zodiarcs. Form your party and battle by moving your units around the map, pushing and flanking the enemy. Play ability and spell cards, and roll dice to determine the success of your actions in a game that uniquely blends video game and boardgame.
Choose Your Party
As you journey through War of Zodiarcs, you’ll meet several allies along the way, gathering a full group of 10 characters, all with unique classes and personalities. From there, bring a party of 5 into battle. Choose your party based on your playstyle or switch them out often to discover new character and ability combinations.
Play Your Cards
During combat, draw and play cards to perform attacks, use abilities, or cast spells. Each card you draw opens up new tactics, making it a moment of great anticipation; that next card you draw may turn the tides of battle. Nothing is more satisfying than the surprise and elation from drawing that Ultimate Spell card that cripples the enemy forces, securing victory for you.
Roll the Dice
Successful attacks and spell casting is determined by rolling a handful of dice. Customize your set of dice by swapping out or adding more dice to increase your chances for a successful or critical attack. But be careful because enemies can also swap your dice and hurt your chances for success.
MANAGE AND GROW YOUR PARTY
Manage your characters between battles by unlocking Talents, upgrading weapons, customize the decks they bring into battle, or just talking to them beside the campfire to learn more about their personal stories.
Unlock New Abilities in the Talent Tree
Unlock new abilities and spells for characters to bring into battle through their Talent Tree. The Talents you choose to unlock will determine how you want that character to play.
Customize Your Decks
Customize the ability and spell cards your characters will bring into battle through the Deck Builder. What you put into the character’s deck determines which cards are drawn during battles. You know WHAT is in your deck, you just don’t know WHEN you’ll get it, making each hand drawn an opportunity for surprise and new tactics.
Upgrade Your Weapons
Collect resources to upgrade your weapons by defeating enemies and winning battles, giving your characters access to stronger attacks and spells. Upgrading also changes the visuals of their armor and weapon.
Rest by the Campfire
In the quiet moments between battles, get to know the other members in your party. Characters that grow and struggle as they journey towards their goal is a major part of what defines a JRPG, so each member in your party has a fully developed story and personality. Learn who they are, where they came from, and what they’ll become as they travel with you into the heart of the enemy nation.
THE AGE OF THE PROPHETS
Long ago, people from the shadow world of L'Ombra found a way to pierce the mysterious "Veil" seperating it from its sister world of Lumus. The L'Ombren brought wonderous techno-magic to the Lumen in the form of the sacred Zodiarc Relics. These travellers were called the Prophets; they became like gods to the people of Lumus, building great empires which eventually clashed against each other. The Prophets brought the world of Lumus a golden age of knowledge, but their ultimate legacy was the Great Zodiarc War, which led to their own demise. No one knows what really happened, but the war ended when the Prophets destroyed themselves in a terrible catastrophe, ending their age of enlightenment.
THE SECOND ZODIARC WAR
After the Great Zodiarc War, Lumus endured a dark age where the secrets of the Zodiarc Relics were forgotten. Over the centuries, the stories of the Prophets became a new religion, spread by the Church of Shadows who idolize L’Ombra and its amazing technology. After generations of studying and reverse-engineering the Zodiarc Relics, new breakthroughs have sent shockwaves through the world of Lumus. The legendary weapons of the Prophets were cloned and mass-produced as Shadow Relics, giving rise to magical armies overnight. This has led to an age of relentless conquest, with only two mighty nations remaining: the Union of Gilden and the Toran Empire. Forced by destiny to clash, these two societies are about to learn that there are other evils in the universe besides human greed and wickedness - evils that desire nothing less than to devour Lumus itself.
The Union of Gilden
A semi-autonomous coalition of free republics, the Union of Gilden has doubled in size in only 100 years, thanks in large part to the constant threat of invasion by conqueror nations like the Toran Empire. Farming, mining and smithing are the Gilden's primary trades. Various races and cultures live side by side and many different languages are spoken throughout the Union. The Gilden are tough, self-sufficient people, known also for their optimism and adventurous nature.
The Toran Empire
For centuries, conquest has fueled the Toran Empire. In ruthless pursuit of absolute power, the Torans have absorbed every country up to the border of the Union of Gilden, forcing them into conflict with their strongest rival. The conquered nations of the Empire are known for ship-building, pottery, fashion and a strict code of honor. Toran society is homogeneous; one official language and culture dominate the Empire. The Toran Royal Family, feared and despised by the rest of the world, exerts control over the Empire's vassals from their imposing castles and fortresses.
The result of experiments on Zodiarc Relics devised by the mad monk Cerzy Lenonid, the Void is a dark tide of mysterious origin, constantly evolving and becoming more dangerous every day. In the service of the Toran Empire, the Void utterly destroys anyone in its way, leaving a charred and ruined landscape in its wake. Now that such power has been unleased, can even Lenonid himself control it?
Weapons from a more advanced world, the Zodiarc Relics were long ago used by the Prophets and passed down through the generations. Powered by the mysterious Zodiarc Shards, Relics are the most valuable and coveted commodity in the world of Lumus; each Relic unlocks latent energies within the user, then channels those energies through a conventional weapon. Inferior Shadow Relics, reverse engineered clones of Zodiarc Relics, make up the bulk of most nations' armories, but their powers pale compared to original Zodiarc Relics.
"Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness."
- George Bernard Shaw
AN UNLIKELY HERO
Weiss, a young novice on his way to become a knight, wants to join the army of Gilden in their fight against the Toran Empire. Together with a group of like-minded adventurers, he sets out on a quest for glory. But what first seemed like a sure victory, becomes a desperate struggle against a dark force from beyond time and space; a struggle that will determine the fate of two worlds - and change Weiss forever.
At only 16, Weiss Oming inherited one of the legendary Zodiarc Relics, a weapon of mysterious origin and incredible power. An ambitious but impatient young man, he was training to become a knight when the Union of Gilden declared war on their mighty enemy, the Toran Empire. Now Weiss longs to join the army in battle against the Torans and prove himself a hero... if he can get out of bed in time to ship out! His reckless bravery attracts other adventurers, and he’s a natural with his Zodiarc Blade, but Weiss is about to learn that the road to victory is paved with hardship and sometimes the burden of becoming the man everyone expects can be too much to bear...
As a child, Nahmi was kidnapped when her country was conquered by the Toran army. Kept as an exotic novelty by a Toran noble, she managed to escape and joined a clan of bandits to survive the unforgiving streets of Torus. Nahmi eventually left the bandits and joined up with a crew of adventurers. She saved the life of Caldis Oming, who adopted the girl and brought her to his village in Gilden, where he and his wife raised her as their own daughter. Even though she’s only 17, Nahmi’s experiences have made her a skillful and quick-witted fighter. She possesses a Shadow Relic and has learned to wield its power in combat. Nahmi secretly cares for Caldis’ son Weiss, but she hides it behind tough-girl bravado and a tom-boyish competitiveness. Will her true feelings ever be resolved?
Once the leader of a gang of bandits, Zirchhoff is a perverse, gluttonous bastard, who’s never shy about taking what he wants. His abilities were recognized by General Zinque, the commander of the Toran army, who preferred to have him as an ally rather than an enemy and made him a lieutenant. Zirchoff holds no allegiance to the Royal Family (who are despised by everyone throughout the world), but he is completely loyal to General Zinque. A master of one of the legendary Zodiarc Relics, Zirchhoff is a fearsome opponent.
Rumours of mythical creatures from the Shadow World of L'Ombra have spread across the countries of Lumus; walking like men, but fighting like demons in the service of the Toran Empire. What are these "Shades", and why have they suddenly appeared?
For the music, we're working with Vibe Avenue, whose founders have worked on games ranging from big AAA (Thief 4 and Papo & Yo), to mobile and indie (Castle Story, and Big Action Mega Fight). We've teamed up with Vibe Avenue because they understand the game and the genre, and they create amazing stuff. Check out the amazing samples below that they composed for War of Zodiarcs.
Here's what Vibe Avenue has to say about working on War of Zodiarcs:
For us at Vibe Avenue, working on a JRPG is a dream come true, since Shining Force and Final Fantasy Tactics are amongst our favourite games ever. Although the audio direction might evolve over time, we are heading toward a colourful and expressive orchestral score with a slight retro touch. As for the sound design, it will match the graphics and fall somewhere in between the SNES and the Playstation era. We feel truly inspired by the art, concept, and story of this game and are looking forward to creating a memorable soundtrack!
If War of Zodiarcs is something you’re excited about as much as we are, then the best ways you can help make this game happen are:
- Vote YES on our Collective page
- Spread the word! Tell your friends, family, and doctor about War of Zodiarcs!
- Sign up for the game’s newsletter at our website! You'll get to preview and give feedback on the crowdfunding campaign, and even help choose what the backer rewards will be!
- Visit the company’s Twitter or Facebook page and drop us a comment or question!
Cardboard Utopia was started with the dream of making our own games. Games that are made by gamers, for gamers. We have no desire to target the mass market, but rather, tailor make our games for dedicated, niche audiences that love the same games we do. War of Zodiarcs is lead by a stable of industry veterans from the production trenches. We are lead designers, art directors, and lead programmers from the AAA space. We’ve worked on such games as Child of Light, Assassin’s Creed (2, Brotherhood, 3, and 4), and Far Cry 3.
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Teo Yong JinARTIST - Jin is most known for his recent work as an illustrator on Ubisoft's Child of Light. Having spent 4 years with the company, he is also credited as a concept, texture artist, and assistant art director on some of Ubisoft's most loved games such as Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, Assassin's Creed 3, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin's Creed 2 and Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands. Prior to Ubisoft, he co-founded a small indie studio in his hometown in Malaysia. Jin cannot decide whether he is first an artist or a game maker. He just knows that he loves making games.
FAVORITE GAMES - Zelda series, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, Planescape Torment, Bayonetta, Halo, Civilization series, Grim Fandango, Gabriel Knight, and generally everything awesome.
Vibe AvenueAUDIO - Vibe Avenue is a premium audio company dedicated to creating exceptional music and sounds. They recently won Best Audio Award at Casual Connect for their work on Big Action Mega Fight! and are contributing to indie hits like Castle Story and World War Machine.
Jason KimGAME DIRECTOR - Jason has worked in the games industry since 2004 on projects such as Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and the Rainbow6 franchise. He's been a game design team lead, lead level designer, game designer, and level designer in the console AAA space, and is the founder of Cardboard Utopia.
FAVORITE GAMES - Shining Force, Final Fantasy 6, Final Fantasy Tactics, Godhand, Chromehounds, Devil May Cry 4, Resident Evil 5, Dark Souls.
Cardboard UtopiaFounded in Montreal, Quebec, the game development capital of Canada, Cardboard Utopia was started from the belief that the best, most cherished games are the ones that engage you through gameplay, story, and characters. Games that are not just flashy experiences that leave your thoughts once you put down the controller, but make you think, plan, question, and discuss. These are the things that create memories for future years. These are the types of games we make.
Denis DufourLEAD PROGRAMMER - Denis has worked in independent and publisher's studios since 1993. He has shipped games on most consoles and PC for Infogrames/Atari, Disney, and Ubisoft. He likes to program and drive technical teams.
FAVORITE GAMES - World of Warcraft, Fallout, XCOM, Starcraft, Half-Life, Doom, Ultima Underworld, Xenon2, Nintendo games.
Mariko McDonaldCOMMUNITY MANAGER - Mariko is a blogger, writer and social media junkie with a deep love of independent and retro video games. When not writing for her personal blog Gamerwife, she can be found dolling out advice for indie devs over on her professional blog. She lives in Montreal with her husband, a devoted hardcore gamer and two cats, Gatsby & Kala..
FAVORITE GAMES - Mass Effect series, Star Wars the Old Republic, Tomb Raider, Bubble Bobble, Dr. Mario.
Xavier MarleauPROGRAMMER - Xavier is a young programmer undergraduate in computer science at the University of Sherbrooke. He's been playing video games since he was child. He loves various game genres like shooter, RPGs, and competitive games. He started learning programming 2 years ago but is in great hands to learn the profession.
FAVORITE GAMES - Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy Tactics, Resident Evil series, Tales Of Destiny, Legend of Zelda series (SNES, Gameboy, N64), Super Metroid, League of Legends, NHL series, various First Person Shooters.