Published on June 30th, 2013 | by Andy Astruc2
Money Shots: Karmaflow
[Money Shots showcases (in our humble opinion) the best games currently asking for crowdfunding help across the internet. If you have a project you'd like see featured here, contact us!]
Metal is for nerds. I say this both with love in my heart and in memory of the surprise I experienced when I discovered this universal truth. While the average Joe on the street may see fans of heavy metal music as antisocial thugs with more time for Satan and bar fights than contributing to society, the plain truth is most of them are actually intolerably friendly geeks. Aside from their choice of music, they can often be found enjoying cutesy anime, awesome toys, ancient mythology and comics. It’s similar to everyone thinking goths sit in dark rooms reading poetry, when they actually just love dressing up and getting drunk to 80s music.
Because of this categorical crossover, you meet a lot of metal-types if you’re at one with video gaming. There is a strange lack of their beloved themes in the games themselves, however. Once you’ve clocked Brutal Legend and Darksiders your choices for Totally Rocking Out are dwindling down to rhythm games and scaling the mountains of Skyrim while The Banished explodes out of your speakers.
Fret not, fans of loud music and epic (in the non-superlative sense) adventures, as apparently some industrious people are at work creating a rock opera video game. Karmaflow is the brainchild of Netherlands Composer Ivo van Dijk, who wanted to combine his years of music experience with his ongoing love of games by doing something really flipping crazy. The game is described as a puzzle/platform adventure, with exploration and a soundtrack that will rip off your ears and hump them. Their Indiegogo description is a bit more measured than mine:
In a rich fantasy setting, you take on the role of the Karmakeeper, who is responsible for maintaining the balance in different worlds. You will travel to these worlds and have to save the Guardian Spirits that live there, by finding and unlocking the long lost Karmaflows. Through puzzling, platforming and exploration, you will be treated to an extensive story told through interactive music.
Concept art and assets vibrate at a very Journey frequency at this stage, which is no bad thing. The art director notes in their pitch that they want to go for a clean style to get players thinking about resemblances to hieroglyphics and, in-turn, the mythological inspirations for the game’s content. Creatures will inhabit the various world the Karmakeeper visits, all of which contain good karma that you can absorb to fuel your magical abilities. The game is still in pre-production, but the campaign page has already got a few sketches of glowing hummingbirds, mice with tiny mountains on their backs and shiny salamander-looking things.
Being made by a composer, and considering it is probably the only video game rock opera ever, a large focus of the game is the music. The team describes it as adaptive, with sounds and tracks swimming and changing around the player’s actions. The story and characters will be explored to a large extent through the music itself. Van Dijk teases the prospect of many musicians being involved in the process, and has announced that Henning Basse (Sons of Season, MaYaN, Metallium, Firewind) and Marc Hudson (Dragonforce) will be involved heavily. The orchestral duties are in the hands of the Metropole Orchestra. Karmaflow‘s campaign page makes it clear that this title will get made, but Indiegogo will help them fund the best possible music production. A worthy cause for a game so intrinsically linked to its sounds.
€4,185 of their €50,000 goal has been raised thus far, with the campaign in early days and 49 planetary rotations still to go. I can’t imagine what sort of curmudgeons wouldn’t want to fund a rock opera where you get to balance the universe by sucking magic out of adorable creatures and solving puzzles, so see if you’re up for it. At the very least, this is a project to keep a lighter and a long hairdo on hand for.