Freja And The False Prophecy

 

The team and Kickstarter

From a small Indie development team hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, called Unsigned Double Collective. They currently have a Kickstarter campaign running to fund their game. With 11 days to go – as of writing this article – they have reached 60% of the $17.614 dollars target; a modest sum for something like this. Go take a look, you will not be let down. For the Kickstarter page here  

The Prophecy

A tale written in blood. A mystery to uncover. A journey of self discovery and retribution. Freja and the False Prophecy is a dark 2d action-adventure game set in the world of Norse mythology.

A conflict at sea leaves Freja with nothing but her Axe. She washes up on shore, barely alive, to find a great malady has gripped the land. With all her comrades lost, Freja must set off alone to uncover a tale of greed and corruption.

You’ll play as our fallible heroine as you travel through the nine realms of Yggdrasil in search of answers and revenge. From Muspelheim, the land of fire to Helium, the land of the dishonoured dead.

Venture through unique worlds that are crafted with attention to detail and populated with nefarious creatures out to cut you down in your tracks.

Wage war with the gods

 

My Thoughts on Freja and the False Prophecy

When I first read this, I thought to myself: “this sounds like something I would like. I am going to look it to this some more.” Upon delving into the Kickstarter and having a look, I backed the game right away. If anyone has read any of my previous Kickstarter articles, they’d know I only write about games I back. I had to back this game for three reasons;

  1. I love Norse Mythology
  2. The art style is simply beautiful
  3. The game plays like a dream

The world of the Vikings is very interesting to me, and I have been interested in Vikings for years. There is a town near where I live in Scotland called Largs. Why, you ask, is this important? On the 2nd December 1263 the Battle of Largs took place, where Scotland took back the West coast from the Vikings. Each year there is a weeklong Viking festival to celebrate it.  

Some of the sagas told by Vikings are really interesting, giving the reader a look at life and the stories of these Norwegian warriors. Most of the sagas are made up stories or have been blown out of proportion, but my own favourite saga is The Curse of Andvari’s Ring. This saga was, in part, the basis of Lord of the Rings. 

Freja’s Saga

The story will look to challenge the concept of fate or freewill, with a Nordic saga feel to it, with possible aspects of self-discovery. The player will assume the role of Freja, a sole survivor of her ship, returning home after a successful raid only to be dashed upon rocks. Alone, and with nothing to show from her raid, Freja realises the island is not what it seems to be. A malady has stricken the Island. Freja, suspecting the hand of the Gods is at play, must figure out the truth.

Image result for freja-and-the-false-prophecy

Throughout the game, Freja will begin to learn new skills, warcries and rune stones to unlock. Thus, making Freja the warrior she can become; strong, battle hardened, with a will of steal and a body strong enough to take on the Gods. Here is a list of the core gameplay elements from the Kickstarter Page:

“The core game play features of Freja and the False Prophecy are:

Character Progression: Unlock awesome abilities, warcries and rune stones. 

Battle: Diverse enemies and challenging boss encounters punctuate the nine realms. You’ll have to rely on your wits and abilities to defeat them. 

Tight Controls: Responsive and engaging controls that give you full control over Freja and her array of abilities and acrobatics. 

Explore: A meticulously crafted world with multiple paths and secret areas to discover.

Platform: Navigate your way through exciting obstacles and puzzles.

Be Challenged: A fair yet satisfying default difficulty level. 

Or not… A Story Mode option for those who would like to experience the tale of Freja without the combat or platforming challenge.”

The core elements have me overly excited. it seems like Unsigned Double Collective have played many a Metroidvania, and pulled out the best bits, and thought “let’s do this!”

Freja’s Travels

This will be a grand saga indeed, the story will lead Freja on an epic quest though the Nine Realms all connected by the world tree Yggdrasil.

the nine realms

Midgard: Home of the Humans

Niflheim: The World of Fog and Mist.

Muspelheim: The Land of Fire

Asgard: The home of the Aesir

Jotunheim: Home of the Giants

Vanaheim: Home of the Vanir.

Alfheim: Home of the Light Elves

Svartalfheim: Home of the Dwarves.

Helheim: Home of the dishonourable dead  

With nine different and distinctive biomes to play though, the potential for lush beautiful worlds being carved by the developers is so exciting. Along with the worlds, there are also different enemies.For example, Midgard could have more human and dog-like enemies, whereas Helhiem could have a mixture of all races from the nine realms as ghosts with extra moves.

For me, this is an opportunity I truly hope Unsigned Double Collective do not miss. From what I have seen and from talking to the guys there, I do not think it will be missed.

 

image

Art Style

The art direction was something that developed over time for the developers. The final style, however Unsigned Double Collective’s artist reached it, I think is beautiful and different from most titles out there. For the characters that inhabit the Nine Realms, the artist has made them all in 2D models that look 3D with how they are drawn. They all have a left and a right side. This is also what makes everything look so beautiful in the game. The block colouring into fading of colours on the character’s clothing, plus the shading making the character models seem 3D is excellently done.

The way Freja’s hair moves and her cloak moves as she runs, jumps, and attacks all combine and flow so well. At first glance, all the characters and even the monsters look minimalistic but take the time to study a few and there is plenty of detail to be seen in each model.

Image result for freja-and-the-false-prophecy

Let’s take the giant for example; he has a knotted beard which moves with him, its loincloth moves with each action, and the face, though small, has well defined facial features and actions. The worlds themselves adopt a very similar art style, beautifully minimalistic with depth and scope.

It is hard to put into words how nice the game looks, so I will show you instead.

Oh, and did I mention it is all hand drawn? Image result for freja-and-the-false-prophecy

Music

The music is haunting, fitting the romanticised ideals of the Vikings, as well as the overall mood and atmosphere throughout what I have seen. The score will be created by an artist by the name of Martinique du Toit. They seem to include harps, drums, horns, and the voice seems like it’s going to play a major role in some songs.

Here is a track from Martinique du Toit from Freja And The False Prophecy

To hear more from Martinique Bandcamp page here

Freja’s Movements

Freja is a dream to play, the controls are tight and responsive, each hit looks like it hurts, and you can feel the weight of each attack. Freja seems light on her feet with smooth and graceful movements. Freja’s axe is graceful and deadly. image Even the enemies all move in their own unique way. None of it looks or feels clunky – except for the odd bug, but we can let Unsigned Double Collective off as it is an early Alpha demo.

My hopes for Freja and the False Prophecy

What I hope for going forward is;

  • The Nine Realms are all fleshed out, massive, and well created for the platforming aspect.
  • That it will have Epic Boss fights.
  • I’d love the game to be 12+ hours
  • I love a challenge in games, but hopefully, it’s kept within limits, as well as loads of fighting.
  • Lastly, that they stick closely to the core elements.

For myself, if you can’t tell, I am excited for Freja and the False Prophecy. Again, I only talk about games I like the look of and are willing to spend my cash on; this is definitely one of them. I will be keeping a close eye on the development. Pray to Odin Son it is a good game. Link to the Kickstarter here

 

Below is an exclusive interview with Lasse of Unsigned Double Collective

Hello, can you introduce yourself and tell our readers about your game?  

“We’re Unsigned Double Collective a 3 person team from Cape Town, South Africa.   

Our game, Freja and the False Prophecy, is about a tale of betrayal, overcoming adversity, and ultimately, self discovery. Take on the role of the fallible heroine Freja, troubled by a brutal past and thrust into the harsh unknown, as you traverse through the Nine Realms of Yggdrasil in search of answers and redemption. ”  

Can you tell our readers about your influences?  

“Some games that inspire us and influence our game in a big way: Ori and the Blind Forest, Hollow Knight, Salt and Sanctuary, Cuphead and Dark Souls We’re hoping to amalgamate ideas and concepts from these games (and many more) into a cohesive experience incorporating our vision of the Norse myths and the worlds and characters that embody them. “

Why did you decide on a Norse setting and story?  

“A few reasons: – I (Lasse) am originally from Denmark – We had a trip up there and its insanely beautiful, especially in Norway. We wanted to take our experience and show people how gorgeous the environments are – Norse Mythology is insanely quirky, funny, weird and beautiful. – Nine realms, although tricky in scope, allows us to create 9 worlds each with their own aesthetic, enemies and atmosphere. This is really fun for us and for the player!  

Take the tale of the giant Ymir for example: Ymir was suckled by the cow Audhumla for his nourishment. When he slept, several other giants were conceived asexually in Ymir’s hermaphroditic body, and spontaneously sprang from his legs and the sweat from his armpits. That’s pretty cool and weird and awesome! ”  

The art style is beautiful and fits the game and world perfectly. What influenced the art choice?  

“Honestly, we can’t really give a solid answer to that. For the first month or 2 we spent an enormous amount of time googling other artists and game art.

I guess it just kind of birthed itself spontaneously (like Ymir :-p). “

Why go to the Kickstarter platform for funding?  

“Why Kickstarter:

To build a fan base and meet new fans of the game

To social prove our concept, get feedback on the game itself and identify our weaknesses so that we can fix them and make a better game.

The obvious one: To raise funds, especially to cover our weak areas and to help supplement the budget.

Honestly, we really really needed the money. If we were in a position to have our Kickstarter campaign a bit later in our production, we’d have done it. But right now we have a monthly deficit which was becoming really punishing on a small team (around $1000). So we had to come up with a way to inject just enough money to keep things running smoothly for the next 2 years or so.”

What are you finding the hardest and easiest parts of the Kickstarter campaign?  

“Haha, running a Kickstarter is mostly hard! But there are some easy bits too:

Easiest:

Talking to and interacting with our backers and fans. (It’s fun)

Hardest:

Getting people to actually visit the campaign. We’re a small studio without a big footprint so getting visibility is very challenging.

Dealing with feedback that’s very harsh can be really tough psychologically, but often even harsh feedback is good too and people do have valid points (although sometimes they say them in really mean ways)”

How big is your development team?  

“We have 3 core members: Lasse (programming), Frank (management/effects) Romy(art). Then we have people who assist in other ways, such as helping with animation, music or cinematic. “

What is your main focus as of now?  

“Phew, just getting through this Kickstarter! Then we want to:  

– Revamp the combat system

– Add a bunch of new enemies

– Continue building the base game ” 

I see you have extra incentives with the skins are we going to see any more or other add-ons?  

“Absolutely. We’ve actually added a signed print reward to our physical backer tier just yesterday. More stuff is definitely coming but I don’t want to ruin any surprises!”  

Is there anything you would like to say to our reader and your backers?

“I don’t want to get too mushy but you guys and gals have been friggen amazing. We’ve met so many great people who care about our game and want to see us succeed.

That really means the world to us and helps motivate us and keep going.” 

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and the interview please go and give the page a look. See you next time.

 

Freja And The False Prophecy official website here or Kickstarter here   

If you liked this and want more Kickstarter titles I recommend, the links are below;

 
Source Battle of Largs
Source Andvaris Cursed Ring