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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Icebound Visual Novel Developer Seeking Kickstarter Funds
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Jonathan Xikis recently emailed us about a Kickstarter campaign to fund Icebound, his upcoming new dark-fantasy visual novel set in a world covered by ice. Xikis is seeking to raise $7,000 before the campaign ends on September 21. The game will follow the adventures of Dougal, a wandering alchemist looking to find a job, who stumbles into "a web of intrigue involving a clockwork beast, a seductive secret agent, a priestess with mysterious powers, a mad genius, and a group of eccentric alchemists competing to vanquish a deadly monster."

In a world covered by ice, Dougal is a pragmatic traveling alchemist who likes to keep a low profile. But, when he and his bat-like Familiar, Isaac, wind up stuck in an isolated town, he realizes that the key to incredible power might be hidden there. The only problem: he has to earn it. Now, he must compete against several other unusual alchemists to complete a dangerous challenge and slay a fearsome monster. But, with a clockwork tiger giving the orders, and Agent Lamia of the Imperial intelligence service poking her nose into their business, could the master alchemist Megistus really be telling them the truth... or leading them into a trap?

Icebound is a visual novel for PC, Mac and Linux platforms, as well as iOS and Android. Set in a dark-fantasy, steampunk world, it is an interactive story and puzzle game that puts a new twist on the notion of an ice age by combining it with a society in the midst of an alchemical and industrial revolution.

While the game is well on its way, I want to make it even better by adding full voice acting and putting it on mobile platforms. This is where you come in - by funding the game, I will be able to release it in the best possible state.

What's a visual novel?

A visual novel is an interactive story adventure with graphics, sound and music. It allows the reader to make decisions to influence the story as they explore the world. Visual novels heavily influenced RPGs in Japan, and have now come to the West as people realize the potential of this genre with modern software that allows the creation of visual novels with more efficient production methods.

Unlike playing an RPG, the player doesn't have to first deal with time-consuming battles to read the tantalizing story. And unlike reading a book, a visual novel not only stimulates the visual and auditory senses, but allows the reader to play the character's role for themselves.

We hope that Icebound will appeal to new players as well as those who are already fans of traditional visual novels.

Why is Icebound unique?

Visual novels are often life simulations or romance stories with a real world setting like high school. However, I believed that the genre had space for more fantastical settings. So, I decided to write a story with more mature characters, more detailed art and a unique and fleshed-out fantasy world that was lighthearted, yet contained themes of dark fantasy. While originally a small project, it soon evolved into a novel-length commercial game.

Icebound contains anime influences that tend to go hand-in-hand with these types of games, but was also inspired by western literature and other media. This gives the game a unique perspective that is uncommon in most visual novels.

Icebound also contains optional, alchemy inspired puzzle minigames that supplement the plot. Choose to complete them and become a true alchemist, or bumble your way through!

What is Icebound about?

The world of Permia has been locked in the depths of an ice age since the ancient past. Two races have forged a way of life revolving around the power of alchemy not merely a science, but an ability that allows one to manipulate the forces of nature through the use of a Familiar - a tamed animal companion that shares the alchemist's life-force.

In the north resides the Holy Empire, whose machinery and society both run like clockwork, and which is populated by humans much like ourselves. In the south sits the Council, a powerful alliance of tribes who have mastered the spiritual arts, and which consists mainly of the hair-covered, horned feran race, with lesser numbers but a greater affinity towards alchemy. Both superpowers harbor tension towards each other, but so far it has not escalated into war.

A wandering alchemist named Dougal winds up in the isolated town of Isenbarr with his Familiar, Isaac, hoping to find a job and earn some spending money. What he doesn't expect to encounter is a web of intrigue involving a clockwork beast, a seductive secret agent, a priestess with mysterious powers, a mad genius, and a group of eccentric alchemists competing to vanquish a deadly monster. Nothing is certain... except that chaos will ensue.

Who are the voice actors?

Icebound will be voiced by a talented cast of voice actors. Dougal, the main character, will be exuberantly voiced by LittleKuriboh, creator of one of the most popular abridged series online and a well-known figure within anime fandom. A list of voice actors, excluding characters who would count as spoilers, is below:

    Barzul - River Kanoff
    Dirk - Matt Shipman
    Dougal - Martin Billany
    Edward - Daniel Gold
    Guard - Greg Nugent
    Isaac - Jeremy Baker
    Jeffrey - Johan Bagenholm
    Kai - Edward Bosco
    Roy - Patrick M. Seymour
    Torrun - Chris Guerrero
    Voski - Edwyn Tiong
    Zoltan - Zach Holzman
    Bartender - Karen Kahler
    Cerise - Karen Hayman
    Heather - Felicia Angelle
    Kimka - Caitlin Chang
    Lamia - Amberlee Connors
    Maia - Michelle Rojas
    Nira - Jill Harris
    ??? - Marianne Miller
For more information follow the link below.

Kickstarter: Icebound

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Archives  News  Icebound Visual Novel Developer Seeking Kickstarter Funds