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A Dragon Named Coal

A Choice driven RPG set in a crumbling dark fantasy world. Play as a handicapped dragon named Coal, who dreams of becoming a knight.

A Dragon Named Coal
VOTING RESULTS
Yes 92% No 8%

Genre: Action, Beat 'em up, Platformer, RPG, Side Scroller

Developer: Clever Crow Games

PC Mac

PITCH

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Platforms: PC Mac

 

A Choice driven RPG set in a crumbling dark fantasy world. Play as a handicapped dragon named Coal, who dreams of becoming a knight.

Not all fairytales end happily. A Dragon Named Coal is a dark fantasy epic combining Castlevania: Symphony of the Night inspired gameplay and the branching story mechanics of Dragon Age: Origins. The game is primarily being created by a husband and wife founded game studio Clever Crow Games. Currently, we're actively developing for Mac, Windows and Linux. The game will be DRM-Free with a primary focus on Steam.

 

Image Collage

A Choice driven RPG set in a crumbling dark fantasy world. Play as a handicapped dragon named Coal, who dreams of becoming a knight.

  • A story about broken heroes wreaking havoc across a world they once valiantly protected.
  • Branching narratives, where the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
  • Flexible companion system with three characters who change based upon your choices.
  • Roughly 15 hours per playthrough with branching content.

 

Tea Party

  

Gameplay

A Dragon Named Coal is deeply inspired by the gameplay of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dragon Age: Origins, and Dark Souls. While there are a good number of action RPGs being made, there are few upcoming 2D sidescrollers that combine gameplay with deep branching story mechanics.

Gavin tries to save Fray from the vortex

 

Exploration

Kardia is a fully fleshed out country with a unique economy and diverse ecosystems. Throughout the game you’ll discover several major areas accessible on the world map. Unlocked side quests will also appear here.

concept art map of Kardia

Curious players will be rewarded for their naivety. Interacting with seemingly random items, exploring suspicious locations, and acquiring items will unlock new pathways. This creates a reason to return to previous areas.

Coal smashes through a windowCoal discovers a Grat

 Changing Scenery

Companions will change based on your choices into one of two personas. These changes affect both their dialogue and available skill tree options. In addition environments will change over time and reveal additional areas to explore - particularly after a time skip half-way through the game.

Alternate towers for Fray

 

Combat

To survive in the wilderness, you’ll need more than wit and puzzle solving skills.

Swordplay

Combat starts off fairly basic, with several easily accessible combos. As Coal’s skill tree grows, more complex combos will become available.

combat with a group of scavengers

Fight with one of three different companions (seen in the characters section), each sporting an array of unique abilities to help augment Coal’s combat abilities. Some of Coal’s arsenal includes fireball, combo trees, and a grappling hook.

 

Fire Breathing

extinguishing a brazier

Coal’s underdeveloped fire breathing glands have stunted the ability to breath liquid fire - resulting in a variety of combat and environmental applications.

Fire “spitting” allows Coal to light fires as well as extinguish them. This plays into the game’s environmental puzzle solving. In combat, the fireball works as a long range projectile, but during exploration doubles as a tool for revealing hidden objects within the environment.

 

 

fire based exploration

Fireballs deal a massive amount of damage to enemies on impact. However they also rapidly consume Coal’s energy, making their availability limited. Fireball skill tree upgrades include shooting multiple fireballs and making them explosive.

 

Inventory

Not much of the game’s lore is told verbally. You can learn more about Coal’s world by optionally reading books, excerpts, notes, ledgers, and other items.

Inventory image with item description

Upgrade equipment through discovered materials and craft potions vital to your survival. Coal is a scavenger and engineer, who makes use of anything and everything available.

 

Crafting

Players can harvest raw materials such as plants and ancient crystals. You can rebuild these items as powerful potions or upgrade your arsenal.

Potion and Weapon crafting stations

 

Skill Trees

Our experience system is heavily inspired by Skyrim. You’ll earn new abilities by engaging in kleptomania, crafting, and combat. Progress through the game by interacting with the environment, level up by grinding through enemies, or combine the two to suit your playstyle.

Skill Tree example

Companions also have their own skill trees that provide new abilities. For example Fray can unlock an explosive fireball or add more magic missiles to her basic attack. Companions can also grant Coal speciality passive perks such as an increased chance to find rare items, increased gold drops, and vampiric damage.

 

Story

If Disney and the manga Berserk had a baby, you’d end up with A Dragon Named Coal. The game combines the most visceral elements of Game of Thrones with loveable characters rendered in pixel art. At the same time, it focuses on fable based storytelling mechanics.

Drakes freedom fighters relax in camp.

Players will be faced with a variety of difficult choices that have both short and long term consequences. An important choice made earlier in the game may play into a critical decision down the road. For example, players must choose to save only one of two wandering traders. Which one you save will affect your available inventory throughout the game.

 

Characters

The story follows a handicapped dragon named Coal, who has been ostracized from dragon society for having a peculiar obsession with humans. Coal idolizes knights and King Orion, who bears the title “King of Dragons.”

 

Coal

Coal Sketches

A flightless misfit with delusions of grandeur. Coal idolizes knights and dreams of becoming one, believing that knights have the power to solve all the world’s problems.

Coal squishes a scavenger... oops

Skill Trees:

  • Alchemy: Buffer your brewing skills with increased healing, duration, and special effects. I don’t have a drinking problem!
  • Combat: Kill stuff to get better at… killing stuff. Unlock new attack skills like “bleed” that inflict damage over time.
  • Defense: Being repeatedly beaten to death apparently has perks. Who would have thought?
  • Scavenging: What’s better than loot? More loot! Increase your chances for rare items, bonus gold, and drop frequency.
  • Abilities: Three fireballs are better than one! Includes perks for other unlockable abilities.

 

Fray

Fray

A broken mage with an abusive teddy bear she can’t get rid of. Her traumatic past has given her a skewed view of right and wrong.

I love punch!

Skill Trees:

  • Magic 101: “So simple, I could teach a squirrel to do it.” -- Dirdy the wizard
  • The Path of Thorns: Blood magic, communion, and tea with the eldar gods.
  • The Path of Solace: You may see dusty books, but I see power...

 

Gavin

Gavin

A Kleptomaniac, pathological liar, and lovable rogue. Gavin always has his best interests at heart. And gullible friends to help him achieve those interests.

Don

Skill Trees:

  • Tinkerer: A child with matches can hurt others. A child with explosives can accomplish far more damage.
  • Swashbuckler: Unlock the devastating powers of alcoholism and swordplay.
  • Shadow Weaver: Shred your foes through the use of time and space altering magic.

 

Reis

Reis

An accomplished sellsword and untrustworthy ally. Res is known as the “One Eyed Wolf” - A famed mercenary general in his 40s with unquenchable ambition.

One eyed wolf song

Skill Trees:

  • Mercenary: Dogs of war are loyal to the highest bidder.
  • Commander: More than just a badass, a badass who bosses people around.
  • Barbarian: Monster? Barking mad? Or brilliant strategist?

 

A tour of Kardia

Our game’s story takes place on a continent filled with riches only rivaled by its dangers. Kardia is known for its rare exports and powerful army, but is mostly uninhabited due to powerful monsters roaming the countryside.

Coal Running

 

Astantine Cathedral

A relic left behind by an ancient civilization known as the Astantines in an arctic tundra. Strange rock formations known as dragon’s teeth grow out of the land. Those who die here come back to haunt the land of the living.

Stained glass window

 

Seraph Mines

Criminals and debtors are forced work in the Seraph Mines, a dangerous underground area filled with nightmarish creatures. The nearby town has recently been commandeered by the notorious Morai company.

Pixel art scene of Mud-Town

 

Valderun

Kardia’s capital is located off the ocean’s coast and specializes in the export of Seraph, a magical crystal capable of creating miracles or unfathomable destruction.

Coal watches as Valderun burns

 

Bosses

Bosses can be defeated through a combination of skill, combat, and abilities. Their sizes range from humanoid to colossal beasts that require dismemberment to take down.

Coal fights Alpha

concept art of Annessa

pixel art of Annessa

 

Music

Our insanely talented composer Greg Nicolett is heading all of the music for A Dragon Named Coal. He has worked for HBO, Disney, and other huge names. Check out a few of his tracks for the game below.

Soundcloud Logo

Listen now

 

Demo

A year ago we released a pre-alpha prototype for our vision for A Dragon Named Coal on GameJolt. Based on the demo’s feedback we’ve been working on a new alpha demo, which will feature revamped combat, crafting, and higher stake decisions. As of writing this our demo ranks 4.6 / 5 with 500+ votes. Please enjoy this sample and we look forward to hearing your feedback to help make A Dragon Named Coal the best game we can.

Play the demo

Coal Falling

 

Coal drawing in his workshop

Why Collective

By supporting our pitch with your votes and constructive feedback, we can vastly improve our pitch before we start accepting funds. A failed crowdfunding campaign can significantly delay a game’s release date, potentially for years. Our game is extremely content driven and therefore will require a good chunk of money to make our full vision a reality.

How To Help

We could really use your help and feedback on the following in the comments section below.

  • Comment below on what features of the game interest you most.
  • Is there any pitch content you feel could be improved?
  • Follow us below.

 

 

 

 

 


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FEEDBACK (29)

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STUDIO

  • Michael Plondaya
    Michael Plondaya currently resides in San Francisco where he draws strange creatures and anatomies. He comes from a science background with a major in Biology and a minor in Graphic Design. He has drawn comics, created logos, written roleplaying modules, and has an odd assortment of projects and pursuits. Most them can be found on his blog at http://markerslinger.tumblr.com/. Role: Concept Artist
  • Van Andy Prevalus
    Van-Andy is a freelance artist from miami florida. His skills range from being an illustrator, Concept Artist, Character Design, Storyboard Artist, Graphic Design and an aspiring Animator. He has worked for studios such as "Animatic Media" (Storyboard Artist / Penciler) and Alpha Omega Animation "The ARMSmaster Project" (Background Layouts/Concept Artist/Character Artist. Aside from his studio work he also has an assortment of aspiring pursuits with other personal and collaborative projects currently in development. Role: Concept Artist
  • Zoë Patrick
    Zoë is a freelance artist whose studies have included comics, digital art, traditional printmaking, and of course, pixel art. She enjoys cooking, gardening, DOS games, and long walks on the beach. Role: Pixel Artist
  • Kevin Urban
    Kevin Urban is a voice over talent/impressionist from New England, having provided the narrations for indie titles such as Victus Vincimus: Veterans Revenge, Legends of the Brawl, and Pixel Princess Blitz. With a voice described as “Deep, Booming, and Rich”, Urban serves as the narrative voice of “Eldrad", telling the story of Coal and the dark mysteries of the kingdom of Kardia. Role: Narrator
  • Mel Bontrager
    Mel B is a multifaceted illustrator whose work has appeared in children’s television animation, feature film and comic book illustration for studios both local and nation-wide. Projects include Nicktoon’s “NFL Rush Zone” (VFX Design, Character Design) Zaya Toonz’s “Iesodo” (Character Design) and Alpha Omega Animation’s “The ARMSmasters Project.” (Clean Up, Color and Character Design) Alongside “A Dragon Named Coal,” she is currently the digital penciler/inker for the “i, Mage” comic book series by creator Gary Turner for A Little Vast Studio. Role: Illustrator
  • Ash Blue
    By day Ash is a senior software developer leading teams, at night an indie game dev. He co-authored the game sections in Manning Publications’ HTML5 In Action and has worked for software companies such as Hasbro and Nvidia. A few of his other feats include building an open source HTML5 game engine, appearing in Rock Paper Shotgun for Nasa’s Dark Side Jam, president of Nerdery Chicago's Game Dev Club, and co-organizer of the Downtown Denver Game Developer Meetup. Role: Founder, Lead Developer / Writer
  • Luis Augusto
    From banging plates with utensils to nearly igniting a microphone with his stove and even manipulating his dog's voice, Luis's enthusiasm for sound design is sprinkled throughout each of his endeavors. He is also responsible for implementing sound effects, music and dialogue to create a cohesive soundscape for the game. Aside from game development, Luis is also a freelance web developer currently experimenting with animations and MVC frameworks. Role: Sound Designer
  • Greg Nicolett
    Greg Nicolett is a composer based in Los Angeles. The coolest thing he's done is play trombone in a punk rock marching band called Mucca Pazza. The second coolest thing is compose music for "A Dragon Named Coal." Past projects include HBO's "Muted", Showtime's "Chicago Overcoat," and additional music/orchestration for games such as Disney Kinect Adentures, Forza 5, and Star Wars First Assault. Currently, Greg composes the music for the Disney series "Goldie and Bear." Role: Composer
  • Rachel Blue
    Rachel was the little neighborhood kid who thought a swimming cap and blanket-cape made her a superhero. Her art career started with dropping out of college, buying a stack of art books, and a copy of Photoshop. Some of her feats include winning multiple hackathons, working as community manager for Nvidia’s Twitch channel, and a game mention in Rock Paper Shotgun. She’s a co-organizer of the Downtown Denver Game Developer Meetup. Role: Founder, Lead Artist / Writer