Limited Run Games bills itself as a “premium publisher” giving indie and digital titles a physical release. To play hard copies of Witch Beam’s Unpacking on PS5 to bring back classics like WayForward Shantae on Game Boy, this service has conservation merit. However, Limited Run Games also produces special goodies like vinyl soundtracks or plushies, giving people the opportunity to wrap themselves in a community. pocket llama Toasty: Ashes of Twilight takes a similar approach.
The next Zelda-as the action-adventure RPG is currently making its way onto Kickstarter, having raised over US$80,000 – well past its target of $25,000, with nearly two weeks remaining to date. Its core team is just six people, but mutual friends led to a publishing deal with Top Hat Studios which, in turn, expanded. GridThe scope of extends beyond a PC to include console ports, physical releases, and merchandise. Game Rant spoke to director Justin “Dooper” East about Grid‘s Kickstarter and build both a community and a brand.
Growing the world of Toasty: Ashes of Dusk
Toasty: Ashes of Twilight started as a small group project with other obligations. East does “a bit of everything” on the game, but is also a full-time software engineer by day and a streamer with a low-poly “Llama VTuber” model by night. He said that the original construction for Grid was created using the skills of YouTube tutorials and online courses, and that while game development is “really hard”, it’s worth it. “We all have a story to tell, and life is about finding the medium we will use to tell it.”
Is said GridThe story of is the most exciting aspect for him, reflecting the personalities of his team. Would-be fans can begin to acclimate to the land of Geldia and the characters amnesiac protagonist Marshall will encounter through a prequel comic titled Grilled: gallant dawnreleased in May 2020. It was one of the team’s first ventures, an opportunity to “paint the world a bit” using the comedic backgrounds of narrative director Ivy Jade Weaver and art director Brian Farrar.
Marshall has become something of a project mascot; his own Mario, Sonic or Kirby; but East said it was not their intention to enter. His marshmallow design stems from East trying to draw a knight and struggling with the head. It was a bit of a fluke, with Marshall’s design not only lending itself to gameplay elements, but also making it perfect for physical Kickstarter rewards like plushies and keychains. “The responses to Marshall’s design have been overwhelmingly positive, and it has really given the team so much hype.”
Benefits of Kickstarter for Toasty Developers and Fans
Being able to host a Kickstarter with rewards such as Marshall plushes, not to mention the team’s “dream” of physical Switch cartridges and merchandise ranging from postcards to tote bags, is the result of Pocket Llama’s partnership with Top Hat. East said the publisher is handling PR, marketing and ports, while also stepping in to help design the crowdfunding campaign. It’s been a bigger hit than expected so far, raising the required funding in less than three hours, and Pocket Llama is “blown away” by the attention Grid has received.
“Honestly, we didn’t expect so much love for our game, and we’re just incredibly happy that the goals are being met and people are excited! It’s hard for me to really explain because I get emotional about nothing by talking about it. I can’t thank our fans enough.”
As of this writing, 10 stretch goals have been achieved via Kickstarter, including new areas, more fleshed out NPCs with dating sim elements, and quality of life additions like a cheat code menu. This campaign will pump money into all aspects of production, potentially including hiring more programming help which is mostly handled by the “powerful talent” of Faulty Functions.
However, East said the first thing his team would do after Kickstarter ended would be to take a few days to celebrate and process the success. After that, they’ll care about creating a roadmap with ambitious goals in mind, because “we’re very organized and love our lists.”
“My team is amazing, and I want them paid for their hard work… There’s been a lot of heart put into this game, and it’s become a part of us, so to see people enjoying the fruits of our work will be the absolute greatest.”
Toasty: Ashes of Twilight is in development for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Its Kickstarter lasts until April 28, 2022.
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