Grab Your Survival Gear & Step Into Voodoo’s Open Alpha!

Support our Kickstarter Campaign and get Open Alpha Access

Voodoo Open Alpha.
You are on the verge of stepping into an all-out survival and civilization building experience in Voodoo. On January 1st, our Kickstarter Campaign for Voodoo came to a successful end and we welcomed the Alpha Tribe into the Blood Lands, where players could test combat mechanics against each other and against a colossus known as the Izimu. There was even an in-game treasure hunt! Today, we’re happy to invite more fans into Voodoo’s Open Alpha!

>> Pick Up Your Open Alpha Key for Voodoo

 For everybody who has supported us and kept the momentum alive on this project, Voodoo’s Open Alpha is for you! You can get immediate access by heading over to IndieGala and picking up your Open Alpha Steam Key. There are a limited number so act fast if you want in. Here are a few important things to keep in mind.

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-Voodoo’s Open Alpha will last for approximately 30 days.

-At the end of the Open Alpha, the Steam keys will be DEACTIVATED.

-Kickstarter backers DO NOT need to obtain an Open Alpha key.

-For any questions/problems please feel free to reach out to us via our Community Hub.

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We’re releasing this open alpha to introduce more players to the world of Voodoo. Kickstarter backers’ keys will provide access to the full release and will last forever so there is no need to grab Open Alpha keys. We do, however, encourage our Alpha Tribe to invite their friends to participate in this alpha and explore the new and improved world of Voodoo. Let’s talk about the updates!

A Peek Into Voodoo’s Latest Updates…

 –Weapons: All the weapons available in the game are now obtainable! This means more creative ways for you to defend and attack!

Towers: Do you need a vantage point to pick off your enemies? There are now mountable towers in Voodoo!

Animals: The flora and the fauna are now living and breathing!

Resource Management: Survival is all about resources. Find and use yours wisely.

Game Map: Voodoo’s entire game map is now complete so go out there and discover!

Collectibles: Wander the world and discover what it has to offer you!

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 As usual, have lots of fun in our Open Alpha but please don’t forget to send us feedback to help us improve the game. If you see us in-game, we come in peace… or not!

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Can “White Dudes” Make A Video Game About Africa?

Can "White Dudes" Make A Video Game About Africa?

Can “White Dudes” Make A Video Game About Africa?

Admit it. When someone says “Italy” you think about pizza, The Renaissance, or something connected to the mafia. Hold on — isn’t everything in Italy connected to the mafia? If the tongue-in-cheek wasn’t obvious then here’s some clarity. Human beings subscribe to stereotypes. We all do it. Yes, even you.

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Now, when we say Italy, we’re thinking about home of indie game development studio Brain In The Box. When we say indie game development, we’re talking about delivering an immersive experience of interactive entertainment. When we say interactive entertainment, we’re talking about freedom of creative expression through game mechanics and digital art.

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We’ve received a good amount of flak about our upcoming video game, Voodoo. Indeed, some of our earliest supporters warned us: “I hope it doesn’t get slammed with the race card.”

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See: Survival Is Tribal & Made With Unity

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In the end it was probably inevitable. What’s a team of white dudes doing making a video game about Africa? Don’t you know “voodoo” isn’t African? These are some of the most popular game critic FAQs.

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However, before sharing half-hearted history lessons about the first humans, or trying to put responsibility for global warfare on video game developers (pretentious much?!), we’d like to put in our voice.

Voodoo

Voodoo is a spiritual belief that originated in West Africa and transcended belief systems found in the African Diaspora. The fact that it was popularized in the Caribbean and North America doesn’t mean that those regions own it any more legitimately than they owned the slaves who brought it with them.

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We chose the term “Voodoo” simply because it’s a salute to Africans on the continent and in the diaspora, with rich diversity of culture and their own definitions of an African identity. These are elements we’d to like to provoke thoughts and discussions with through an immersive video game.

The Setting

Voodoo is a video game.

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Video games are born out of the imagination. They may be inspired by real world places or events, but for an overwhelming majority they are fictional. Voodoo is no different. It’s our fantasy recreation of the dawn of civilization. It’s also a multiplayer open-world survival game coming out on Steam.

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We created Voodoo out of our imagination of a mythological time even before the African continent was invaded, carved up, and countries were given names by colonialists. It’s a fact some people can’t seem to get around. They expect that if you say the word “Africa” but you don’t name a country then you’re stereotyped. We operate beyond that box.

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So yes, in this primal setting, players start the game stark naked with nothing but their wits. We didn’t intend to offend (and/or belittle) the critics who feel embarrassed by this. Voodoo is about using the environment or interaction with other players to acquire food, clothing, equipment, and lodging — survival. Our media guy is actually an Izimu of an African (from Bamenda, Cameroon) who we really wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of! (Cheers, Al!)

Just A Video Game About Africa

So what are we saying?

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First of all, we’re not saying “who cares about stereotypes; this is just a videogame?” We are saying we’re fascinated by the sociocultural history of Africa, it’s breadth and depth, and we want to make our contribution to bring it to the spotlight. As creators, it’s truly fresh territory for us and we’re thrilled to take it on.

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We opened a call-for-submissions several weeks ago calling on anybody with relevant knowledge and expertise to share interesting ideas on making Voodoo more historically accurate. Historical accuracy isn’t actually a priority for us; we just don’t want to miss important details that could botch the concept or make gameplay even more interesting.

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Finally, we’d like to share a Guinean proverb: “Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand.” If you truly think that a game like Voodoo gives people a pass not to think seriously about drone strikes in Somalia, then you should really be concerned about violence in videogames in general. If you really wonder how “white dudes” can create a game about Africa — well check the creators of some of your favorite titles. You’ll probably be blown away.

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Alpha Tribe’s Treasure Hunt & The Red Desert

Alpha Tribe

The Alpha Tribe Goes On A Treasure Hunt

If you’ve been following our Kickstarter campaign then you’ll know that this has been an exciting week for us! Earlier, we sent out members of the Alpha Tribe on a treasure hunt. By the way, “Alpha Tribe” is what we call our current Kickstarter backers who have brought us to over €12.2k EUR! We’re so grateful for all the continued support and it’s our pleasure to welcome new members to the Alpha Tribe everyday.

The Alpha Tribe Goes On A Treasure Hunt

Anyways, we were pumped to see our Steam community get stoked for the treasure hunt. The task we laid out wasn’t easy. Three “Venerated Treasures” had to be located within the game world. The first to find all three and post screenshots to Voodoo‘s Community Hub would be able to pick an item from any reward tier in our Kickstarter campaign!

The Alpha Tribe Goes On A Treasure Hunt

Alpha Tribe.

It was exciting for us to see the first players of our game go wild for a challenge we created. Not to mention, we knew that this treasure hunt could be interrupted abruptly by a run-in with an Izimu! However, although the player above (a Japanese gamer) didn’t feel confident about finding the last one — he eventually did!

The Treasure Hunter of the Alpha Tribe

uvcut259 is now honored as the “Treasure Hunter” of the Alpha Tribe for completing the challenge first! And for that, he gets to choose an item from any reward tier of his choosing! So, it’s obvious that it’s been a thrilling week for us.

The Alpha Tribe Goes On A Treasure Hunt

Our Alpha Tribe is slowly growing but this week we also started an initiative to help you join us in building it. Check out the details on our “Build Your Tribe” program and learn how you can have monuments erected in your honor within Voodoo‘s world for inviting new tribe members!

The Red Desert

When we started the Kickstarter campaign for Voodoo we told you that in the pre-alpha you would see the game develop beneath your very eyes. Well, head on over and find a juicy update about the game’s world map that we released late last night. The Red Desert. Get ready to put your feet in the sand and lots more fun stuff coming up soon!

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How We Want To Add Animals In Voodoo

Animals In Voodoo

Animals In Voodoo.

What’s one of the key elements lacking in our indie game Voodoo? Okay, fair enough. There’s still a whole lot lacking. However, one of the elements we’re absolutely crazy about adding is a variety of wildlife. This is the entire reason for our Kickstarter stretch goal on animals.

Animals In Voodoo.

But hear us out.

Animals In Voodoo.

We really don’t want to come off as the typical “help us with our Kickstarter campaign and we’ll add something cool” type. No. Our ideas for animals have been brewing for a long time and we believe they truly bring something fresh and innovative to gameplay. Allow us to tell you why.

Animals In Voodoo.

We’re not so satisfied with animals in video games in general. Don’t get us wrong. Several games have gone to astounding lengths to represent the animal kingdom. Some titles that come strongly to mind are MGS 3: Snake Eater and Far Cry 3. However, we’d like players to experience the spiritual connection between so-called “sentient beings” and wildlife — kind of how it was portrayed in Avatar.

Adding Animals In Voodoo

We sketched out very roughly how an entire animal ecosystem could fit into our game. Ideally, we dream of creating a world where the wildlife is actually affected geographically by the activities of players — and vice-versa! We’re obsessed about experimenting with this. But here are three takeaway ideas on how animals will actually increase the dynamism of Voodoo’s gameplay.

(1) Subsistence Hunting

In Voodoo, you need to find food in order to survive. Naturally, we intend to have hunting as one of the more thrilling gameplay aspects to support this concept. We’d actually already started developing in this direction but put things on hold while we focused on some core aspects.

FunFact: before we thought of a Voodoo LAN-party (deathmatch) we thought of a Voodoo Hunting Party!

Animals In Voodoo.

Animals In Voodoo

(2) Supernatural Sidequests

In our very brief history of masks in Africa, we touched on how some African tribes believed that there was a spiritual connection with mankind and the animal kingdom (there most likely is!). Now there’s not much of a story with Voodoo except for yours — survival. But wildlife can bring in more. We’d like to include sidequests that can help you gain animal powers while showing you interesting aspects of their life. This is one of our earlier ideas that was rekindled when we discovered another amazing indie title, Lost Ember.

Animals In Voodoo.

Animals In Voodoo

(3) Changing Perspectives

Here’s one idea that we hope you will love as much as we do. So far, the experience with Voodoo has been on barefoot escapades with fierce Shaka Zulu-like warriors. But dream with us and imagine you could ride with the kings of the jungle! Yes. Riding through the blood lands of primal Africa, exploring and conquering with the beasts?! What?! We’ve only made it this far, but we still believe that’s an idea worth a stretch goal!

Animals In Voodoo.

Animals In Voodoo

Animals In Voodoo.

If this blog entry got extremely long please don’t blame us! We just wanted to give you an idea of where we want to go with Voodoo and stomp off some of our adrenaline in this crucial period. So, while we’re struggling with our Kickstarter, join us in thinking past that. Help us go just a little bit further into our stretch goals!

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Voodoo Kickstarter Campaign’s Gazelle Pack

Support our Kickstarter Campaign and get Open Alpha Access

. Support our Kickstarter campaign

Our Kickstarter campaign for Voodoo took off this weekend. 66 backers have already brought the campaign to over €2,600! We’re really excited about this even though we still have a long way to go. It’s just terrific to see the enthusiasm for our game. A few people even increased their pledge after they had a chance to try out Voodoo!

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We really didn’t do a lot of prep before we threw Voodoo out there. This idea for a Kickstarter campaign just popped up and we said “Heck, let’s do it!” Besides from raising more funds that we need, we thought a Kickstarter campaign would be a good way to increase our community. A good community brings out a great game. This is one lesson we’ve learned on this #GameDev journey of ours. More on that soon 🙂

Our Kickstarter Campaign’s “Gazelle Pack”

This is what the Gazelle Pack in our Kickstarter campaign offers backers in a nutshell:

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♦ “Thank You” Mention in Game Credits
♦ Pre-Alpha Access [immediate]
♦ Digital Copy of Voodoo
♦ Player Skin Pack #1 (3 skins for your character)

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For €15, you can basically pre-order a copy of Voodoo when it comes out in 2017. But we don’t want to keep you in suspense all through Christmas, New Year’s Eve and spring! So, we also make it possible to immediately get pre-alpha access to Voodoo. Yeah! Although the game is still in development, we’ve been convinced through awesome YouTube gameplay videos that there is enough for your to enjoy while we build. Trex even tried to make music! LOL.

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Player Skin Pack #1 simply means that you’ll be able to choose from three types of “skins” for your character. This option is available for backers of the Kickstarter campaign. It’s special in that it will only be available to backers. So later on, when you’re forming tribes in Voodoo‘s jungles, you’ll be able to identify the people who were here at the beginning with you. Hopefully you’ll be the friendlier for it!

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Special-Skins-for-Supporters-of-Kickstarter-campaign.

“No matter whether lion or gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.” This is the African quote on our Gazelle Pack. Understand: A gazelle knows it must run to stay safe from the lion, and the lion knows it must catch the gazelle not to starve. In the game of survival, you have to keep running! Now off we run! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates from our Kickstarter campaign. You can visit our page here.

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Get Pre-Alpha Access to Voodoo on Kickstarter

. Support Voodoo on Kickstarter


A few seconds ago… Oh, wait. Was it hours? — We launched a Kickstarter campaign for Voodoo! I guess something just got us into that all-or-nothing mood. 2017 is around the corner. On our calendar that tells us that very soon we’re supposed to get a game onto Steam! This is what is on our mind…

. Support Voodoo on Kickstarter!

Join us in our Final Survival Round This Weekend

Some of our YouTube friends and some of us here (who prefer not to be named) are going to be having a final survival round this weekend. Why do you say “final”? Because from next week this build will no longer be online 🙁

. Support Voodoo on Kickstarter!

But there will be something even better… What? The answer is just below this neat key configuration 🙂

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Support us on Kickstarter!

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By the way, this diagram here is for all the earlier players who were left wondering how people got all the way up that tower!

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An Open-World In Primal Africa Awaits…

So, we’ve been able to review the combat mechanics through the first playtest that’s been going on for about two weeks. We’ve had a lot of great feedback. There are still some fixes to be made but we’re comfortable that it won’t affect experimenting with more parts of Voodoo‘s world. This is kind of why we dared to launch this Kickstarter campaign!

. Support Voodoo on Kickstarter!

There’s an African proverb that says “To get lost is to learn the way”. We’re inviting you to get lost in Voodoo‘s world. We on the other hand — we’ll get lost in finishing the rest of the game. (And all these bug fixes!)

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Support Voodoo On Kickstarter!

. Support Voodoo on Kickstarter!

Support Voodoo on Kickstarter!

Now it’s more than a question of manners. We’re not sure we can say “thank you” enough times to the people who are joining us on this crazy journey of ours. We’ve still got a ways to go but today was primal! Some amazing backers got us to over €1,500 within an hour!

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Okay, well we’re going to get back to campaigning so we make sure this project comes out as supercool as it’s supposed to. In the next few days, expect quite a few updates and a breakdown on some of the Kickstarter reward tiers. Pretty cool, in our humble opinion! Check them out here >>

 

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Voodoo Closed-Beta Highlights, Gameplay, and More!

voodoo-closed-beta-highlights-1-izimu-battle-videos

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Wow! So we have some amazing Voodoo closed-beta highlights to share! Earlier this week, way before we had ever planned, we opened up our closed-beta 1.0 to a select group of playtesters. From feedback, to screenshots, to gameplay videos, here are just a few of our favorite closed-beta highlights from this week.

Voodoo Closed-Beta Highlights

(1) Gameplay Videos: So far most of you have only seen trailers, screenshots, and concept art from Voodoo. That’s why one of our favorite closed-beta highlights is the fact that lots of playtesters went on to make gameplay videos. Vezsstur created a video that (a) shows combat mechanics, (b) goes into some depth about what Voodoo has in store, and (c) is absolutely hilarious to watch! RODE 85’s video is quite analytical and Cryptic Hybrid created an exploratory video. Also, don’t miss KrazzykillaB’s video where he demonstrates his skill with our combat mechanics.

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(2) Combat Feedback: We’re extremely delighted that our closed-beta 1.0, designed to test our combat system, was very well received. Our playtesters provided us with lots of positive feedback in Voodoo‘s community hub on Steam. Now that we’re comfortable with fighting mechanics and we know the improvements we have to make, we’re eager to move on to our closed-beta 2.0 in which gamers will finally be able to competitively battle the Izimu! Expect more closed-beta highlights on this soon too!

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(3) Server Issues: Not all of our closed-beta highlights are positive though. We had server issues. As an indie studio developing an open-world multiplayer survival, we always knew this would be the case. We’ve implemented some short fixes but we’re looking into more solid ideas to address this once and for all. We’re actually thinking of launching a small Kickstarter campaign to get the funds we need for robust servers and to finish off some other cool extra features. Please let us know in the comments what you think about this or contact us with any other ideas you have.

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As you can probably tell, we love interacting with you and we thrive on the feedback you give us! Please keep it coming and thanks for staying with us on this journey!

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Grab Your Mask And Celebrate Halloween With Us!


TL;DR

Grab your mask >> Feel free to color it in. Use it as your profile picture for Halloween!

A Very Brief History Of Masks

We’re not really sure why cultures all around the world embrace masks. We do have an inkling of some things that mask-wearing is linked to in Africa that we attempt to embed in our game, Voodoo. This is some pretty cool stuff you may not guess from watching our trailer.

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Communication With Ancestral Spirits: In West Africa especially, masks are used in ritual masquerades enacted to communicate with ancestral spirits. In Voodoo, you will be able to invoke a variety of spirits to unlock special knowledge or abilities. You’ll have to find the right mask for the right spirit though!

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Grab Your Mask

Communication With Animals: Some African tribes believe that animal masks can be used to befriend and talk to wild beasts. Additionally they can also help to gain favor from the spirits of the forest or open savannas. Although we’re still far behind with development of our wildlife, we hope to implement a scheme in Voodoo whereby the right mask can help you with hunting (or taming?) the right beast.

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Aura: Throughout many African tribes, a mask — much like a crown — is simply used to project a particular aura. Power. Wisdom. Benevolence. In Voodoo, we want you to have a lot of creative power over what a mask means for the identity of your tribe. This will be a fun part of our crafting system in the full release.

Grab Your Mask

We had crazy amounts of fun with masks at Milan Games Week and of course we’d love for you to join in! So grab your mask (click here), get creative with it, and join us in making this Voodoo mask your profile pic this Halloween!

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Voodoo – Announcement Trailer


 

Here we present the announcement trailer for our upcoming game: Voodoo, an open world sandox survival game set in a primitive africa with huge colossi!

 

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