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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Join The Voodoo Thunderclap!

Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

.Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

It was only just a while ago that we were quite far from the goal of our Kickstarter campaign for Voodoo. But we’ve already been joined by over 100 backers who have brought us to more than 15% of our target!

.Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

These awesome backers have donated generously, given us great feedback through pre-alpha access, and even created lots of fun videos to help share the message as well as gameplay.

.Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

The Voodoo Thunderclap!

Because we are new to Kickstarter, we’ve been looking for ways to get the word out and one backer made a great suggestion: Use Thunderclap! So, please join our Thunderclap campaign (click here) and add your voice to our message. It will go a long way in helping us reach our goal! And there are truly a lot of fresh ideas for Voodoo that we’d like to realize.

#TGIF

Besides from joining us on Thunderclap, there are a few exciting updates coming up very soon! Please check the updates section on our Kickstarter page. This weekend we’ll be starting a Backer’s Quest and next week we have some new amazing challenges and more pledges to add! We think we’re going for a record 🙂

.Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

Besides from a little violence in Voodoo, we’d like to assure all our fans that we are proponents of peace. “We are all one tribe” — this is our message. And to see how harmless we are, please enjoy the video below.

.Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

.Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

Funfact: Al is even softer than we are despite his “tough guy” appearance with a toy gun. We have proof!

.Join the Voodoo Thunderclap!

But truly, while we’re developing our game, we’d like to know what you think are some important survival strategy tactics. What kind of things should we include that will make Voodoo more fun and challenging for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know!

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3 Colossal & Heroic Izimu Battle Videos

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

. Izimu battle videos

Some of our Kickstarter campaign backers for Voodoo have already gone ahead to challenge the Izimu. They’ve created some amazing gameplay videos and we just wanted to share some of them here.

Izimu Battle Videos

JackHammer’s video has actually been sped up. Why? Because he took down an Izimu entirely by himself. That’s not all. He took down the Izimu flawlessly — with zero deaths! Keep in mind that this is just the pre-alpha version of Voodoo. As the game gets closer to completion and we wrap up with the first Izimu, it will be a lot more tough to defeat than that! Nonetheless, excellent job JackHammer!

. Izimu battle videos

KrazzykillaB’s video brings the music back to a normal tempo 🙂 He was also most likely the first player to take down an Izimu on a live server. However his video is brilliant because it shows the systematic patient approach and a little team effort!

. Izimu battle videos

Cryptic Hybrid’s video is very cool because it sums up one very important gameplay element. The frustration of not being able to figure out how to take down a boss! Although by now we’re sure Cryptic Hybrid has figured it out, this is still a fun video to watch. Cryptic Hybrid is also much more meticulous about introducing you to various aspects of the game itself.

. Izimu battle videos

. Izimu battle videos

Vezsstur has also been actively playing Voodoo. His videos are funny but so far he hasn’t shared a video of an Izimu battle with us. We’re expecting something hilarious!

. Izimu battle videos

A big thank you to all the streamers who have been sharing their amazing videos! We hope you join us in the fun and support our campaign on Kickstarter!

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The Difference With Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus vs. Voodoo

Shadow of the Colossus.

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Since we launched our Kickstarter campaign, a lot of people have asked us what the difference is between Shadow of the Colossus and Voodoo. We just wanted to share a quick article to answer that.

Shadow of the Colossus vs. Voodoo

(1) Single Player vs. Multiplayer: Shadow of the Colossus is characterized by a slightly eerie solo journey. Voodoo on the other hand is completely a multiplayer game. You can say that Shadow of the Colossus and Voodoo are polar opposites in this regard. We thought it would be a fun gameplay alternative to be able to battle the huge colossi in multiplayer, coordinating with your team like a hunting party. Communication and team effort are a huge part of overcoming obstacles and challenges in Voodoo.

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(2) Open-world freedom: In Shadow of the Colossus, after defeating a colossus, the player is returned to the central point to repeat the process — that is, find another colossus. In Voodoo, there is much more freedom in exploring the landscape. Bumping into an Izimu might in fact be totally coincidental. And accidental!

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(3) Player versus Environment: Shadow of the Colossus set out to have no enemies except the epic battles against the colossi. In Voodoo‘s plan, there will be wild animals to defend against as well as hunting, food gathering, and resource gathering.

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In a nutshell, Shadow of the Colossus is a game that takes you on a personal challenge. We drew some inspiration from this amazing game. But Voodoo is ultimately about a collaborative challenge and survival as a team (or rather, a tribe). Of course, it takes place in a completely different cultural backdrop and with different objectives too.

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We hope this clarifies some of the key differences between Voodoo and Shadow of the Colossus. If you’ve backed our Kickstarter campaign and already have pre-alpha access to Voodoo, maybe there are some other differences that you’ve noticed. Please share this with us (and anybody else who asks)!

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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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How To Take Down The Izimu [video]

Taking down the Izimu!


Spoiler Alert: If you’re not interested in finding out how to defeat the first Izimu (Shadow of the Colossus-type bosses) in Voodoo this article is not for you! To be fair, this is a pre-alpha version of Voodoo and the Izimu will be slightly tougher when the full game is released.

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Battling the Izimu

We caught up with KrazzykillaB who streamed his defeat of the Izimu a little earlier. Here’s what he had to say about the Izimu battle gameplay.

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Q: What was battling the Izimu like?

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Krazzy: Fighting the Colossus was super fun! Something very new, very unique, and exciting! The music made it that much more intense.

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Q: How did you know how to defeat the Izimu?

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Krazzy: While fighting the Izimu I saw 4 targets. 2 around its head and 1 on each knee. I figured that if I shot the target on its knees, the Izimu would fall down for me to shoot the targets around its head.

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Q: What do you think is lacking from the Izimu fight that would make it more enjoyable?

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Krazzy: A slingshot to shoot at the Izimu with! But really, it all felt very balanced, very smooth; it was not too easy and not too hard. It was a challenge.

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Well, this is what he said when he had already defeated the Izimu twice!

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Needed: Audio For Izimu Battles…

We couldn’t be happier that players can already enjoy Voodoo through our Kickstarter campaign. However, If you watched the video with the Izimu battle, one thing in particular is killing the vibe. As creators and gamers it’s all too clear.

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While the soundtrack is pretty amazing (gothic meets tribal!) the Izimu itself is missing proper audio engineering to really immerse you in the experience. You can’t hear the roar of the titan, the quaking when it stomps, and the avalanche of its apocalyptic fall from power!

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Audio is an important part of a rich experience and that became even more apparent when we watched this gameplay video. We’d probably become numb to it ourselves. Here is a clear example where community feedback is so vital for game development.  Please support our Kickstarter campaign so we can improve these types of aspects! The devil — we mean Izimu — is in the details!

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By the way, Cryptic Hybrid also battled the Izimu but so far has been less prosperous against its massive powers 😛

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New Kickstarter Pledge: The Advanced Base Pack

Get the new Kickstarter Pledge

. Support us on Kickstarter and get the new Kickstarter Pledge


Just earlier, our crowdfunding campaign for Voodoo was selected as one of Kickstarter’s “Projects We Love”! It’s a great feeling to get that kind of support (check the blue banner in the image below) on top of all the support we’ve gotten so far! However, rewind a few hours back, and we weren’t in the best of moods…

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New Kickstarter Pledge

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Part of survival is being able to take a negative situation and make it a positive. Today we had a negative situation. Somebody contacted us through our Kickstarter campaign pretending to be a certain “famous YouTuber”. We were obviously excited. Gaming YouTubers really support indie game studios by trying out their games and presenting them to new audiences.

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Long story short, we caught the ruse but not before we had sent over pre-alpha Voodoo Steam keys. At least we sent them to the true YouTuber! In any case, the culprit confessed and apologized. This was pretty impressive. After all, it’s just a gamer who really wants to play Voodoo. So, we decided to draw on that positivity a little. We went into a “voodoo” trance (watch the video below) and came out with a new idea…

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Our New Kickstarter Pledge

We’ve mentioned before that we did kind of put our campaign together in a rush. In retrospect, we realize that there’s not really an inbetween Kickstarter pledge from the Base Pack (€3) to the Gazelle Pack (€15). Today, we’re going to introduce a new Kickstarter pledge: The Advance Base Pack (€9). This gives you access to:

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♦ “Thank You” Mention in Game Credits

♦ Pre-Alpha Access [immediate]

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Getting played for a fool when you’re in full campaign mode is a downer. And of course, it’s really unfair to trifle with another’s reputation for your own pleasure. But hey, we think if you’re bold enough to admit when you’re wrong and say “sorry”, everyone deserves a second chance. With our new Kickstarter pledge, the Advanced Base Pack, you can support our campaign for Voodoo and get instant pre-alpha access.

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If you like a game on Kickstarter but are unable to support it, just kindly ask the devs. They may have a spare key for you. It probably won’t be the case because they’re reserving keys for backers. Just remember in whatever you do: keep it real. And if you’re running (or ran) a Kickstarter campaign and you can relate to this story, we hope it brings you a smile.

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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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