Prisma & the Masquerade Menace

Created by Shiny Bolt Games

Prisma & the Masquerade Menace is a challenging, side-scrolling puzzle platformer set in a colorful, yet dangerous, multi-dimensional world. Utilize the unique power of each dimension by switching between them to gain the ability to jump higher, run faster, and destroy obstacles.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

95% and 3 days to g- WAIT! WE'RE FUNDED! The people of Dogwood
over 2 years ago – Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 12:34:54 AM

Hello Gang,

Wow. So many of you has seeded the call to action and so many people have heard to good word in the past 24 hours. Thank you to everyone spreading the for and getting us less that $1000.00 from our goal with 3 Days remaining.

^lol jk gang
^lol jk gang

But let's not end there. We need to power through that goal as hard as we can and blast through that finish line like Ray punching through her enemies.

(UPDATE) Just after publishing this update we are officially funded! IT HAPPENING! PUSH FORWARD TO STRETCH GOALS! WE CAN DO IT AND I'M EXCITED AND ABUSING CAPS LOCK!!!!

Per today's regular update, we have some shots of the world 1 HUB- Dogwood. 

Dogwood is a small encampment normally acting as a pit-stop for the travelers shipping cargo to and fro the desert. Several tents serve to protect the area from sandstorms and exposure. Plumes of soft smoke line the tips of the taller tents, as the act as kitchens for those in need. There also lies a magical low-fi beacon in the camp that acts as a lighthouse of sorts to guide ships to a safe landing area. Similar beacons can be seen in the surrounding area, but smaller in scale to make sure the cargo is flying high enough.

Morningstar, the first boss, has been shooting down the cargo coming in and out of the camp and generally making it a pain for everyone to conduct their businesses. This has led to some infighting between frustrated individuals within the camp who are blaming one another for their problems, even though they know the root problem is out of their control.

The Sand Villagers, or Boom-men, do have a thriving sport of bat racing in the area known as Vloop. Some have gone as far to establish a league with prizes. Because of this growing popularity those who are able to train top-notch bats are highly coveted by breeders and are rewarded handsomely for their efforts. 

 As with all things the Boom-men touch, the iconic super bowl of Vloop is named after what the villagers want the most- a tree. The October Glory is the event that happens once a year pitting the top 5 batletes against one another to be crowned champion.

Why are the villagers racing bats? Why are there so many tree references? I don't understand!

Take a seat there and relax, me. All of this will be revealed in some way or another in the both the narrative booklet and the game itself. So for those funding the Delta-tier and higher you will be offered an in-depth look at everything that informs the lore and the lore itself. It will quite literally be spelled out for you.

Kickstarter Spotlight: Narita Boy

Our friends at Studio Koba have hit Kickstarter hard with their retro callback Narita Boy. The aesthetic of the game is inspired by retro pixel adventures (Castlevania, Another World, Double Dragon) with a modern touch (Superbrothers, Sword and Sorcery) and an 80s plot homage (Ready Player One, He-Man, The Last Starfighter), accompanied by the retro synth touch of the old glory days.

 

That's all for now gang. Let's rally to the end. At this pace we may can even reach our first stretch goal! Let's see that momentum go forward. Tell your friends, family, and random kids on the playground's parents about us (since part of our target audience is way too young to be using Kickstarter). 

The next time we meet will be the Final 48 hours! Go team, go!

-Hank

Meet the Team. 3 Days Left! Call to Action!
over 2 years ago – Sat, Mar 11, 2017 at 06:10:47 PM

Hello Gang,

We meet again. We are so close to the goal, but have stalled in the last two days. We need to strive, share, and power through all the way to the end. So I urge you to do your best spreading the word to any and everyone you think will be into Prisma. If the base funding goal doesn't happen, then it's very likely that this game will never be made in any capacity. 

But never fear! Shiny Bolt has faith in these last few days as we plan on banding together our resources and giving out one final blasting shout out to the world to scream the word of Prisma as far and loud as possible.

So let's occupy our time with some lighter news. Today I bring you the team in question, The Back 9 Bandits, The Fine 9, The Numerous Nueve- Shiny Bolt Games. Since our team description on the campaign page is brief here's a little insight to each member in order of joining (minus Kyle and Hank).

Hank with Tim Schafer for no reason
Hank with Tim Schafer for no reason

 Hank // Art Director, Character Artist  

One of the original members of team Prisma, Hank has overseen the visual development across all iterations. Getting his start in television, he moved on to feature films, and eventually found his foot in the door as a character artist with Immersed Games. As the Art Director for Prisma, he has made it a point to purposely go against the grain for what is expected of him in terms of visual design. Hank strives to make the game’s look appeal across many generations of players by making the game capture the feel-good look that comes with classics like Windwaker, Super Mario Sunshine, and Katamari Damacy.

Kyle getting his brutal slurp on
Kyle getting his brutal slurp on

Kyle // Project Manager, Designer, Programmer  

More hair than human, Kyle is one of the original members of the Prisma development team. Like most on this project, he graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in Interactive Design and Game Development. He is currently working as an independent contractor with Thrust Interactive, assisting in the design and development of mobile games.  

He acts as Prisma’s project manager, designer and programmer. Well versed in tough-as-nails video games, Kyle strives to make Prisma a challenging (but not frustrating) experience worthy of platforming canon.

Alex preaching the gospel of Prisma to E3 attendees
Alex preaching the gospel of Prisma to E3 attendees

Alex M // Designer, Q&A Manager , Scrum Master

As Prisma team’s original third wheel, Alex helped bring Prisma into the 3rd dimension for the first time as a student at SCAD. He has been helping design levels and trying his hardest to break the game ever since. Additionally, Alex also serves as our primary point of contact in Europe, residing in Spain.

In his spare time he can usually be found playing a wide variety of games ranging from retro platformers to simulation racing games.

Alex performing his nightly serenade to Fractal
Alex performing his nightly serenade to Fractal

Alex L // Composer, Sound Designer  

Alex is a Canadian composer and sound designer based in Italy. After graduating Berklee College of Music, Alex has done music and sound design for games, feature films, podcasts and a variety of projects worldwide. Joining the team, he is enthusiastic about bringing the sounds of Prisma to life.  

Outside of audio and games, Currently in London, Alex loves traveling and enjoys making the rest of the team play “Where in the World is Alex Liberatore?”

Khoa encapsulates the midnight with his eternal darkness
Khoa encapsulates the midnight with his eternal darkness

Khoa // Programmer, Technical Artist  

Also an alumni from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Khoa likes to work on different parts of the development pipeline, from shaders to particles to programming. He enjoys the variety of effects in Prisma and the different methods to achieve them, always striving to find more elegant solutions.  

RPGs, strategy, simulation, digital or tabletop, Khoa is willing to play. One surefire way to get him interested (besides cool game mechanics) is to include all things cute and fluffy.

Kevin offering some shocking culture to everyone he's around
Kevin offering some shocking culture to everyone he's around

Kevin // Lead Animator  

A SCAD alum with experience in not only games, but commercials and a TV show. He specializes in animation, but also pitches in with modeling and rigging.

Having a strong passion for feature film, you can currently watch some of his hard work on The Adventures of Puss in Boots series on Netflix.

 

Angelica letting everyone know that her whole life is a Spongebob reference
Angelica letting everyone know that her whole life is a Spongebob reference

 Angelica // Content Artist , Technical Artist, Designer

Angelica studied comics and art history before finally deciding to pursue video games at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta. On Prisma, she provides 3D art assets, concept art when necessary, designs and assembles levels, and particle effects (and the tumblr account).  

She loves colorful video games, good food, and treasure hunting. Don't be fooled however, she is modest about being one of the backbones of the team.

Natalie chilling with her first Winter creation, Mendo
Natalie chilling with her first Winter creation, Mendo

Natalie // Content Artist , Concept Artist

Natalie is currently a senior studying Digital Arts and Computer Science at the University of Florida. Working as a content artist, she has created 3D models, textures, and is eager to start working on concept art as well. She enjoys learning new techniques for making interesting and unique art for games. Natalie also loves squash, digital painting, learning random facts about animals and creating artistic programs.

She serves as the second women on the team as well as the second backbone. We appreciate her and Angelica for keeping the quality of the project as high as possible.

Brett looking suave for Ray and Fractal
Brett looking suave for Ray and Fractal

Brett // Business Development  

Recent college graduate with record of achievement in both university settings and professional environments. Acknowledged for sales and marketing acumen, business planning and strategy, 3D modeling, texturing, level and game design. Demonstrated team leadership and skilled mediator. He is a creative designer with entrepreneurial talents who excels in unique game design, innovative production and creation of pleasurable user experiences.

He may sound stiff and formal, but Brett is the reason the rest of the team can be relaxed and loose to hunker down and focus on making the game.

Well there you have it, the team as it lives and breaths. At the very least I hope this update was informative and reassuring. With a collective 14+ games shipped amongst us, Shiny Bolt is a diverse team with backgrounds ranging from mobile, MMO's, AAA development, and film. But the team's focus lies on one thing- making great games that WE like to play. More specifically, we strive to make games that respect and challenge the player while paying ode to many classics from SNES, Gamecube, PS2, and others where our golden era of gaming gripped us. Before we banded together to form a company, we became friends and came up with Prisma in college. Since then, members of the team have been working in the entertainment industry while developing Prisma on the side as a passion project. Many honors later the team has scattered around the world, but our common passion still binds us together. We can not wait to share Prisma with you in the future, as near or far as that may be.

Kickstarter Spotlight!

Guard Duty is a point and click adventure game taking place across a rich and diverse fantasy setting. Take control of two protagonists living thousands of years apart, with locations ranging from enchanted forests to dystopian cities of the future. Guard Duty is a game rooted in a Medieval setting, but featuring a unique story where past events drastically influence those of the distant future. The game will be released as a stand-alone title with hundreds of animations, full motion cutscenes and a charming variety of British voice actors.

That's all from us for now. Let's kick it into high gear for these last few days.

Until next time,

Hank

Prisma en español and more!
over 2 years ago – Thu, Mar 09, 2017 at 10:01:37 AM

Read the update in english below.

Hoy tenemos una sorpresa para nuestros seguidores hispanohablantes! Prisma tendrá una traducción al español hecha por nosotros. Pronto también tendremos más noticias sobre traducciones de Prisma en japonés, chino y más. Tenemos muchas ganas de traer Prisma a todas las comunidades posibles. Quieres ver Prisma traducido a otras lenguas? Déjanos saber en los comentarios o atraves de nuestro Twitter.

Today we have a surprise for our spanish speaking followers! Prisma will have a Spanish translation done in-house. We will have more translations yet to be confirmed such as Japanese and Chinese. We want to bring Prisma to as many communities as possible. Want to see Prisma translated to other languages? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter. 

We also wanted to take this opportunity to give a quack out to our friend Raytoon’s comic project Jonathin Quackup: Issues #1 & #2 . They’re already funded, but if we help them meet stretch goals they’ll be able to print more comics!

The Art Pipeline
over 2 years ago – Thu, Mar 09, 2017 at 08:44:28 AM

Hello Gang!

Welcome to the new backers. We are surely gaining momentum coming towards the end of the campaign. It's thanks to each and every one of you that more and more eyes are coming to the project.

This update brings with It some development process background as previously promised in earlier updates. First however, we'd like to take a moment to thank all the outlets that have posted about us. Defunct Games in particular did a great preview of what the game is all about. It was informative and they seem to share our opinions on what we hope the game to be to others when it comes to gameplay.

Check out the video below and show them some love:

- 

Development Process  

For Prisma we tend to go through several iterations on what the art can be. However, we start with strong ideas for themes we want to achieve in terms of a cool set piece or feel. This 100% of the time does not translate into something doable at first. So we do rough tone pieces to give us groundwork so that the team can be in a similar head-space moving forward.

Initial Tone Piece for the Tower
Initial Tone Piece for the Tower

After the setting is established we begin to narrow ideas down. More specifically, we break down key settings we think may look appealing as well as designing how an area is going to look from the gameplay perspective. This is usually a tie in with some kind of landmark to act as an anchor point of the world. Beyond just the visual art, this also establishes the starting point for flushing out the backstory and narrative that will go into the world. Then the art and narrative organically grow and feed off one another moving forward.

Original Concept of Boss Arena
Original Concept of Boss Arena

 The next step is breaking down an asset list of what needs to be modeled and concepted. Certain objects like particles need R&D with pure creativity while other areas need more complex per-piece model breakdowns. Depending on the object's importance, priority, and visibility determines how detailed the concept needs to be.

In this instance the boss arena needs every part of it detailed as much as possible because it is going to be static on the screen and looked at for an extra long time in comparison to normal levels. This means that we have to make sure that concepts can inform detail all the way down to the texture level for the artist.

Texture-based Concepts for Artists
Texture-based Concepts for Artists

For objects existing within a scene, especially in the case of the boss arena, we make sure to have concepts that serve as clarification for multiple angles that we can make notes to. For example, in the sundial below the concept is rather simple. But in the angle presented we can exclaim to an artist the different materials it is made of and explain that there are animated parts. While doing this we can also talk through how to go about modeling these features for rigging and shader application.

Concepts for Stand-alone Models for Artists
Concepts for Stand-alone Models for Artists

 While the environment is underway, we try to simultaneously implement characters in the mix in an attempt to have designs of the environment play off one another. In the case of the boss we know that we want its flail to smash the castle top, but also that the design itself is something that may seem like it belonged in some kind of castle. To this end, Morningstar takes the form somewhat of a knight.

Initial Boss Concept
Initial Boss Concept

In tandem with the story of the Kasteel Desert we wanted to implement a king for the knight to serve potentially. However, even though we went through the entire process of concepting (and even modeling) the boy king, we are unsure if he will ultimately make it to the final game. This doesn't happen that often, but it is important for us to distinguish how much story we want to tell, and how much we want to infer because sometimes the mystery behind the fence is ultimately more interesting.

Hidden Boss Concept
Hidden Boss Concept

Only after everything that's interdependent of one another is concepted do we move forward with the modeling process. Up to this point everything is easy to change and alter, so we don't want to waste time when it comes to production. When it comes to models, because we don't use normal maps, we put a strong focus on silhouette and strong textures for both environments and characters (though with slightly different texturing approaches). 

The Tower Model In-Progress
The Tower Model In-Progress

Because we do not use normal maps and have limited, mostly deferred, lighting in levels we rely on texturing for several details. In the boss projectile below you can see several standard practices at work: UV's optimized for hand-painted texturing, self-shadowing passes, and self-illumination passes. Baking lighting that isn't dependent on other objects in the scene is key to optimizing performance by preventing the need for dozens of lights on the screen at one time.

Modeling the Boss Projectile
Modeling the Boss Projectile

Lastly we assemble what we have so that we can create a test scene. In this scene we can tweak materials on the objects so that the look and work properly in-game. In this scene we also construct particle sets and implement animation/scripting behaviors for objects in the scene. In practice it looks like a jumbled beautiful mess, but as long as it looks like everything belongs in the same space then it's a job well done.

We may cover a little more process in a future update regarding other aspects of development, but for now that's all she (I) wrote.

 

Kickstarter Spotlight!

For those itching for more games with colorful art direction like Prisma, look no further than Valthirian Arc: Red Covenant - Academy for Heroes. Our friends at Agate Studio are bringing a great RPG full of character that is really fun to play. It playfully takes tropes of anime, city building, crafting, and character customization and molds them into a lovely adventure.

Backer Achievement Update

Since the last update several of you have spread the word to much success. While not quite to any more points towards the next achievement, both Tumblr and Facebook are VERY close to their first point goals. If you grab them both the next achievement will be unlocked and there will be a nice character reveal that we've never shown to anyone - NOT EVEN OUR MOMS.

Until the keep up the good fight everyone. We are reaching the end, but let's go out with a bang! We are all in this together!

-Hank

P.S.: the original version of this update was destroyed. So, due to running on fumes to get this to everyone, this may have a few grammatical errors. Sorry in advance.

STICKER SHEET ACTIVATED!
over 2 years ago – Wed, Mar 08, 2017 at 06:54:54 PM

Hello Backers,

Consider this a warm welcome to the new kids on the block. We've SMASHED through the first backer achievement reward. So as promised, instead of focusing on the beautiful nonsense that is back-end development (yet), we will be revealing the sticker sheet.

Twitter and YouTube Goals Achieved!
Twitter and YouTube Goals Achieved!

 

Each sheet consists of animals and characters from the different worlds of the full version of the game. As sticker lovers, we are very excited to bring both cute and cool stickers that sticker lovers want to plaster or collect and be proud of. 

To go along with seeing the formatting of the sheet itself, take note of the tabs for all the other sheets in the set. Additional sticker sheets will be available as add-ons if you would like multiple. Also an add-on, you can save money by buying the whole set of 6 sheets instead. All the sheets will be revealed when it comes time to choose which sheets you'd like via BackerKit.

Stickers from the other sheets
Stickers from the other sheets

 

Keep pushing on everyone! We are gaining some momentum and we can use it to push through to the finish line. With less that $5000 to go the Prisma will be giving are all to keep everyone updated and informed.

Until next time,

-Hank