November 2020 Update – MavaVoid and Covid / BIG ANNOUNCEMENT / Dev Updates And More!
Warmest greetings dear friends, fellow backers and community members –
It’s been quite a while since our last update here on Kickstarter. With Covid hitting us again for a second time, 2020 has been full of surprises (especially in the video game industry) and it takes some time to adjust and adapt in these trying times. Do not fear however, today we take some time to give you all an update on ManaVoid and the development of Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan because we’re tired of bad news so hopefully with this update, we can provide a little bit of sunshine in your life!
And so, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
ManaVoid and Covid – Part 2
The year started off quite nicely for us with our booth/game being nominated Best of PAX East 2020 and then came the first wave of Covid. Our team has been quick and efficient with remote work, adapting like the true pros they are to make sure the development of Rainbow Billy is still moving along. Actually, some of our team still go to work since we have such a cool studio that feels like a 2nd home so it’s like we never left!
(We follow the regulations put in place by the Quebec government and we also have our own regulations that every employee needs to follow!)
We’ve also added a few new faces to the team! The financing provided by the Canada Media Fund last year helped us push Rainbow Billy even further. While we did add a couple of members back then, we were finally able to go get those last few missing pieces this year thanks to our new publisher.
Did you catch that? Read the last sentence again…
WE’VE PARTNERED UP WITH SKYBOUND ENTERTAINMENT!
This was, by far, the most tedious wait of our lives here at ManaVoid. It was also part of the reason why we had to wait a little longer before posting any updates!
Skybound Entertainment is a multiplatform content company in the US, home of properties including The Walking Dead, Invincible, and Super Dinosaur. They’ve recently worked on games including Slime Rancher, the physical distribution of Untitled Goose Game, and many different versions of The Walking Dead. We met with them at MEGA+MIGS last year (A Canadian video game event held in Montreal) and they immediately saw the potential of Rainbow Billy. The scope and story of the game needed to be crafted and taken care of in such a way that allowed us to make the game we truly wanted to make. Partnering with a strong publisher like Skybound allows us to carry this project the extra (most important) mile. Skybound also understands what it takes to take an IP to levels outside of video games, assuming our launch reaches the success we know it can! Communication with them is going great and our partnership really feels like a team. That being said, we still have full creative control and Skybound is only enhancing everything we want to do. Skybound is awesome.
That being said, with all the new people working on Rainbow Billy, one thing we wanted to do with the new and improved team was to have an open discussion about the game’s direction, the way it’s being built and where it’s headed. Sometimes you need fresh eyes on the project you’re so passionate about to make sure you haven’t missed anything or to add on to it to make it even better. Which brings us to our next point!
New and Improved Billy + Friends!
A few updates ago we talked about upgrading all the visuals of the game and we saved the best for last: Billy, Friendship the Boat and Rodrigo, three of the main characters we designed that needed a revamp with the way the project was evolving. As of last week, we finally finished what they would look like in-game, to better fit with the story we are trying to tell!
Some of you may have noticed a 90’s kids era feel to the way they look and how they dress which is something our creative director Anthony suggested to the team and got great feedback. We wanted to bring these characters to life but we also wanted to keep this sense of nostalgia every time you played one of these characters.
With an improved Billy and friends comes new animatics (animated cinematics). You may have seen some of our cinematics in the first trailers
Now, they will look like this:
As big cartoon fans, we want animatics to be used to enhance our story telling. They’ll be used to support the story/characters as you progress through different worlds, enhancing boss fight confrontations and also provide an “epic adventure” feeling to the game. As epic as Mario and Link were, Rainbow Billy will be treated the same way.
As some of you may have noticed on our last KS update, the image at the end was indeed part of Frightfrost but is found in a certain area inside Frightfrost mountain.
What you’re looking at here is one world. However, deep below Frightfrost Mountain, lies the mysterious Sunken Harbor.
While searching for Rodrigo, Billy happens to fall inside the mountain and land at the bottom of Sunken Harbor, a world within a world. Surrounded by 4 smaller islands, each with their own abandoned ship, Sunken Harbor is host to many mysteries and strange beings. At the center, Bone Rock Hotel, a place Billy will have to explore in order to find what others have lost before truly finding what one seeks.
The Sound of Rainbow Billy
We’ve been working extremely hard on the development of the game and that includes this beautifully crafted OST by our composer Antoine Vachon. Every ounce of music heard in Rainbow Billy will remind you of games you once grew up with. Don’t be alarmed, that nostalgia feeling you’re getting is normal. This carefully crafted medley of instruments will be heard throughout the whole game including in our animatics and in battle (Battle themes confirmed).
While these are just excerpts of certain areas in certain worlds, music in Rainbow Billy is adaptive and will even mesh with certain creatures and characters such as Friendship the Boat!
Creature roster complete!
That’s right! Every single creature planned for Rainbow Billy has been fully designed and animated! Not only will they have their own specific personality, but you’ll also be able to interact with them in many different ways. Every creature in Rainbow Billy will also have their own whimsical sound that may or may not be even cuter than their dance!
Speaking of creatures…
As a team full of geeks, we love collectibles and toys just as much as any kid out there and we have begun prototyping different things such as…
Look how cute they are!
Earlier when we talked about Skybound, we mentioned that we were interested in exploring different kinds of merchandise for Rainbow Billy. So, we decided to prototype some of it with Skybound and we are very happy with the result. We’ll have further conversations with our marketing team in the near future but for now, it is only but a dream to have our own line!
Would you be interested in having one of these?
Where’s the trailer?
While we do have the initial trailer that we’ve worked on over a year ago (the one currently found on our Steam page), we started working on something even better with Skybound to make sure we could have the best possible version of the story we want to tell. Trailers are an important piece of the puzzle. It’s one of the first times you get to judge a project since you’re connecting all this information you’ve been reading about the development of the game to a polished visual that is close to the final product. Again, we’re keen on telling this epic story the right way and for that reason It won’t be ready just yet but you can expect something in 2021!
An Evolving Game
It’s no secret that Rainbow Billy has evolved into something we had only dreamed of back when we first kickstarted our project more than 2 years ago. The game has taken different paths that we consider are the right ones after carefully planned feedback and open discussions within our team. Working on a passion project, you always want it to be what you envision it to be but it’s important to have the support of your colleagues and friends who share the same passion and want your project to succeed as much as you do. Through the enormous love and support of our first backers, the funding of the CMF and now the extra love from Skybound, Rainbow Billy has become something we’re truly proud of.
While we are still making the same game we’ve always wanted to make, we’re aware that some of you have initially invested in a certain vision of the game, a vision that might be different from the one you had initially. We truly understand that some of you might feel like this game isn’t headed in a direction you agree with and we are opening up refunds for the next month (until December 1st). We are constantly making sure that the investment you made will be given back to you tenfold with our strong production quality, enhanced cartoon visuals, numerous whimsical creatures to discover and most importantly, an epic story that we have dreamed of telling. We continue to strive to make this game the best it can be!
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments section below, or via private message here on Kickstarter, if you have any questions or comments – it’s always a real pleasure for us to hear from you.
As always, thanks to every one of you for your continued support. Our next update should come early next year with an updated trailer and a much bigger focus on the game’s different mechanics!
Wishlist us on Steam if you haven’t already! Even just mentioning it to a friend can go a long way for us at launch! The more wishlists we have, the better it is for us at launch!
Again, thank you so very much for your time and consideration. We wish you all the best, to stay safe during these uncertain times and to keep your head up, we will get through this together!
– The ManaVoid Dev Team