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Yaga

Yaga is an Action RPG with a charming narrative that adapts to your choices, exploring the enchanted world of slavic culture and folklore.

Yaga
VOTING RESULTS
Yes 92% No 8%

Genre: Action, RPG

Developer: Breadcrumbs

Xbox One PlayStation 4 PC

PITCH

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Platforms: Xbox One PlayStation 4 PC

Yaga is an Action RPG with a charming narrative that adapts to your choices, exploring the enchanted world of slavic culture and folklore.

 

Play as a one-handed blacksmith caught between the jealous Tzar giving impossible tasks and the ancient Witch protecting the supernatural world.

 

     Craft and upgrade an arsenal of weapons and tools to aid you in your journeys.

     Building a reputation through roleplaying results in different interactions with villagers and NPCs, unlocking secrets, trading options, or bestowing game-changing curses or blessings upon the player character.

     Pagan beliefs and superstitions are key to unlocking hidden secrets, getting house spirits on your side, or avoiding the powerful curses of unclean creatures.

     Discover and combine lots of talismans and artifacts that change the player's abilities and gameplay

     Crossroads between levels allow the player to influence the difficulty, challenge and level generation of the game

 

We want to release the game on PC and consoles, with an estimated release date end of 2017.

 

Well... you are a brave blacksmith, Ivan! You have brought me the stag with the golden antlers. Now render me one more service: go I-Know-Not-Whither and bring me I-Know-Not-What. But if you fail to bring it to me, your head will roll!”

The Tzar

The core idea behind Yaga was to package a skill-based combat system with roguelike principles, and wrap it all up in a narrative layer that explores the Slavic culture and oral storytelling.

Some of our bigger influences come from:

     Bastion & Hyper Light Drifter for their combat mechanics and smooth action

     Binding of Isaac for the large diversity between runs, secrets and expanding game

     Guacamelee for the treatment of a unique and special culture

     80 Days for the way dialogues and choices combine to affect the journey

Yaga uses procedural generation to create a fresh experience each time, forcing you to adapt to new challenges and opening up secrets to be discovered. One place where it diverges from the roguelike principles is “permadeath”, or rather the lack of it. Folktales heroes rarely die, instead they fall deeper into misfortune and must strive to return on their path with help from supernatural forces.

Adaptive Narrative

Russian folklorist Vladimir Propp identifies a sequence of events common to all slavic folktales, like “Meeting a Donor”, “Facing the Villain”, “Being Chased by the Villain’s Mother” or “Revealing an Impostor”. When generating the narrative of a playthrough, Yaga follows this general sequence, but each chapter is customized by mixing a large number of quests, characters and the player’s choices. To adapt to these choices, the game tracks the character’s Reputation and Crossroad Choices.

Reputation is gained and lost by interacting with the world's inhabitants. Thus, aggressive heroes get more opportunities to fight, while kind heroes get more chances to help out supernatural creatures finding themselves in trouble.

Crossroads are a sacred and magical place in slavic folklore, where all places and directions meet, and all time fades away. In Yaga, they enable the players to have a direct impact on the game. Each crossroads allows players to make a choice about the next chapters in the story: about what the character does (seek the help of a witch, or face the villain directly), where he does it (traverse a lush forest or a putrid swamp), or how he wants to do it (difficult shortcut or relaxed journey).

 

All of this comes together to create a fresh narrative to guide you through the wonderful world of slavic folktales.

“In a certain kingdom, in a certain land, in a certain village, there lived Ivan”

 

In the quiet village where the story starts, peasants are always busy with working their grain fields, taking care of their animals, and keeping their children from going in the swamps.Ordinary people leading ordinary lives. Except for Ivan, the village’s blacksmith, who works hard in his forge all day, preparing to go on yet another impossible quest given by the Tzar. Little does Ivan know that all the tasks he receives from the Tzar threaten to weaken and destroy the ancient spirits and magical creatures that roam the world. But Baba Yaga plans to protect those spirits. She keeps a watchful eye on Ivan, and instead of simply destroying him and risking him being replaced by another, she tries to gently manipulate him to avoid disaster and meet her goals.

It’s a story about greed, manipulation and dealing with impossible odds.

 

The game takes place in the universe of Slavic folktales. It's a 14th century world as seen through the eyes of Eastern European peasants: filled with pagan belief, house spirits, unclean creatures, superstition and magic. As in folktales, the mood of the world is light-hearted, the peasants use humor and hope in the face of hardships and misfortune.

 

One feature of slavic oral storytelling is that a folktale is different each time it is told. Even if the basic plot and story usually follow the same heroic theme, the details of characters, their roles, obstacles and means to overcome them are usually freely modified to suit the style of the narrator, the hero or of the audience. Yaga tries to take advantage of that and generates stories in the context presented above, using what we call adaptive narrative.

 

“Then the babushka went out and brought a huge load of wood, put it in the stove and made a fire. She came to us, took the tailor, cut his neck and put him to roast in the oven. I say the truth! I have found Evil indeed and it has left me without one hand!”

Ivan

Level Generation

Each Chapter in the game corresponds to one of Propp’s building blocks of a folktale. Thus, a “Meeting a Donor” chapter will usually involve helping or defeating a guardian and receiving a magical item as a reward, while a “Revealing an Impostor” will involve finding proof you are the real hero or defeating the impostor in a contest of strength or will.

 

The level generator selects a balanced mix of roleplaying and combat encounters from a large library of quests and special rooms (merchants, secrets, shrines). These are then laid out following rules based on type of region, dramatic flow, encouraging exploration, and specific narrative goals for that level.

Character Progression

The great thing about being a blacksmith is that you make your own tools. Ivan can forge hammers and utilities by mixing different types of wood, ores and enhancements collected from fallen enemies.

 

Charms and Curses are long-term effects bestowed upon your character, that can have a big influence on combat and interacting with the world, forcing you to adapt to the whims of fate

     Reputation Perks: an aggressive character may get bonuses to combat damage, while a dishonest one will find it easier to steal or trick people.

     NPCs may Charm or Curse Ivan as a response to his actions.

     Priests or Witches may invoke Charm at your request, in exchange for donations.

Combat

            Combat in Yaga is focused on close range combat, well-timed attacks and tactical positioning. The weapons built by crafting allow you to create your own combat style, but things are mixed up by the addition of talismans and magic items.

Talismans found all over the world provide bonuses to your stats, add effects to your attacks or defences, or can change the behavior of enemies. Magic Items are rare objects imbued with supernatural powers that can be activated at will, but using them too often may attract the attention of occult forces.

“Oh my beautiful wife! How could I not grieve? I just got rid of one trouble, when another one falls on my neck! It is because of your beauty that the king wants me dead! What ever shall I do?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Ivan


When we set out to make Yaga we knew from the start we wanted the make a 2d isometric game. We’ve spent our childhoods reading tales illustrated by famous Russian artists (like Ivan Bilibin) and we wanted the game to keep that hand-drawn, painterly feel. This illustrative, non-pixel art style allows us to add a ton of details and animations to make the world come alive.

Slavic Inspiration

Slavic fairy tales are a combination of horror superstition and humor, many times bordering on the ridiculous, and managing to be charming and disturbing at the same time. A combination of cartoonish and grotesque felt like the perfect combination for Yaga’s art style. The Slavic folklore, which is riddled with decorative patterns and colorful traditions, and is teeming with imagination, allows us to add a lot of personality to the game. We’ve spent hundreds of hours going through shapes, colors, rhythms, and every time we go back to them we feel like adding more.

 

Being a widespread culture also means we have a large pool to choose from. There are superstitions and myths related to every type of environment. In Yaga you’ll be able to visit villages, swamps and forests, but also imaginary places such as crystal mountains and the Otherworld, you’ll be sent out to find the place called I-Know-not-Wither but also visit the secret  world below the ground.

Yaga is going to be released on PC and Xbox One. Linux and Mac support will come later.

 

If we see enough support and interest for other platforms, and depending on our Kickstarter success, we’d love to also release on Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and Nintendo Switch.

Breadcrumbs is the project of a team of game developers who spent some years in the mobile field and found that they wanted to create a more meaningful gaming experience. Ideas were thrown around, heads were banged on walls, pencil heads were chewed and ultimately we decided to mix our love for roguelikes with our love for narrative and choice based games.

 

Then memories of fairy tales that brightened our childhoods started flowing - magical, charming, gloomy or funny, scary, moody, surprising or cruel. These were not your regular tales of Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, but of Baba Yaga the witch, Koschei the Immortal and Vasilisa the Beautiful. Thus, Breadcrumbs was born to lead players into these worlds, and we decided Yaga would be our first game.

 

With each piece of code, with each sketch and each brushstroke we felt our vision coming to life and hopefully our passion managed to seep its way inside the game as well.

 

Please help us by supporting us here with Square Enix Collective and in the future with our crowdfunding.

     Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to play: http://eepurl.com/bG5Yy9

     Follow @BreadcrumbsInt on twitter: we post gifs, videos and images. We sometimes update frequently here!

     Check our website ( www.breadcrumbsinteractive.com ), where we post blog updates about the game and its development occasionally.

     For any additional information, email us as contact@breadcrumbsinteractive.com and we’ll reply as soon as possible

We think the Collective is an awesome place to be and we discovered some impressive games here. We’re looking towards the community to help us understand how appealing our game is, how clear our pitch describers it, and if it’s something that players will want to play. You can really help us by telling us what you find unclear and what you don’t like about this campaign.

We always read and accept all feedback and try to learn from it as much as possible! Thank you so much for helping us!

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  • Catalin Zima-Zegreanu
    Game Design The one to blame for not fun game. And bad rhymes.
  • Razvan Zapca
    Engine & Gameplay Programming The one to blame for bad performance, crashes and glitches. And bad combat.
  • Horatiu Istrate
    Gameplay & UX Programming The one to blame for unresponsive interfaces and weirdly generated maps.
  • Alexandru Munteanu
    Characters & Environment Art The one to blame for nightmares and scary flashbacks.
  • Flaviu Haitonic
    Animations & Visual Effects The one to blame for crappy animations and flashy eye sores.
  • Geanina Todea
    Quality Assurance The one to blame for hidden exploits and bugs.
  • Ana Benta
    Community Management The one to blame for bad puns and this page.