Sand Cast Well: Son Of Nor Kickstarter

By Craig Pearson on May 1st, 2013 at 6:00 pm.


Hnnng. HNNNNNNNNG! HNNNNNNNNNN… Gah! It’s no good. I can’t move the clementine on my desk using the power of my mind. All I succeeded in doing was bursting a blood vessel and accidentally predicting the next 100 years of winning Lottery numbers. Stupid brain. I want floating citrussy goodness, not creepy eyes and untold wealth. I guess I’ll have to instead turn to Son Of Nor, the third-person RPG where you reshape the world with your mental powers. The promising third-person action game of world telekinesis and terraforming has just popped up on the crowd-funding site. The pitch is below.

The most exciting thing here for me is the co-op aspect. A game that lets you yank sand into defensive shapes while tossing flaming rocks already has my attention, but Son Of Nor also has a co-op element, and the powers can be combined. That means you can float rocks for other players to ride on, though I hope it’s not confined to puzzles, and you can zap and blast mind bullets together. It’s like a physicsy Magicka.

There are currently 37 developer diaries on the game’s Youtube channel, if you’re interested in watching game development sausage making in action. It caught both Alec and Nathan up in its sand traps, and I seem to be the latest fool to wander into a hole it sneakily dug. I’m definitely cool with that, but please send help. It’s sandy.

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22 Comments »

  1. tetracycloide says:

    Does the entire game take place in a narrow rocky canyon with sand?

    • Craig Pearson says:

      The developer diaries show wider places to fight in, but they’re still pretty sandy.

    • markelven08 says:

      up to I looked at the bank draft that said $5552, I be certain that my mom in-law truley making money parttime at there labtop.. there brothers friend has been doing this 4 only about 17 months and just now paid for the morgage on there mini mansion and got a great Volkswagen Golf GTI. read more at wow65.com
      (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

  2. Rinox says:

    After The Walking Dead I can’t see the word ‘Clementine’ anymore without choking up.

  3. daphne says:

    Wow, thanks for this. Had no recollection of previous coverage. Seems highly interesting, likely to back.

  4. ChrisPolus says:

    Hey, I’m Chris and I work as producer and sound designer on the project Son of Nor. We’re all super excited (first-timer on Kickstarter) and stare at our monitors, answer questions and try to stay on top of all the things that happen. First, thanks everybody who looks at our campaign and is intrigued by our game concept. If this is not your kind of game, of course I understand that and take it as a man :)

    @tetracycloide and Craig: Son of Nor plays in a desert world (think Dune) and the areas we take to test certain effects, shaders, models and make our dev diaries are nothing more but a little sand thrown together. Since you can only terraform sand itself, there will be sand in most of the levels. Our challenge now is to make the sceneries look interesting nevertheless! We will have much greener areas, another one is on a shore, the next area we’re building is a volcanic area with black sand and volcanic rocks with cracks and maybe lava (we’re working on it). For our current trailer, we managed to finish these more sandy areas you saw in our video. One aspect of us going to Kickstarter is to put more resources into production :)

    @Rinox: I’m at episode 2 and I think I start to know what you’re talking about.

    @Craig This was one of the funniest articles we read. Our whole team laughed and it was quickly passed around in our Skype group chats. We’ll dedicate a clementine to you in one of our next dev diaries :) Thanks.

    • lordcooper says:

      This looks pretty cool. Is the primary focus in singleplayer or coop?

      • ChrisPolus says:

        Hey Lordcooper.

        We try to balance it very carefully. We want the game to be fun in single player mode. So you might say the primary focus is single player to make it really complete and cool. But we really want to have some additional areas if you play coop. Not just fights getting harder, more enemies, more hit points. Really stuff that you can only do if you have your friends by your side. You won’t miss out on anything of the main story but there will be additional puzzles or extras to be found in coop.

  5. FriendlyNeighbourhoodMurderer says:

    This looks nice, I’ve backed it. :)

  6. kud13 says:

    At first, I was slightly dissapointed this wasn’t Spellforce-related (one of the gods there was called Nor).

    Then I watched the video. Gives me some nice Soul Reaver vibes, especially that temple.

    How linear will the game be? will there be cool hidden areas, accessible only with the riht combination of powers?

    plus, rock throwing. That also reminded me of shooting things in Soul Reaver.

    In other words, I’m probably gonna back this.

    • ChrisPolus says:

      Regarding linearity, we won’t be able to offer a big open world with lots of side quests, we’re still an indie team paying development mostly out of our own pockets. BUT having said that, within the levels and along the story we absolutely want the players to be able to solve challenges in different ways as we hinted in the video. You can try and sneak through passages and stay undetected. Or go berserk. We have set the rules of the world but we haven’t explored all the possibilities yet. We made a document with possible environmental and physical puzzles and it constantly grows with some cool ideas in there already. So in essence, there will be different ways to achieve a goal, but the overall goals, or stations along the journey, the story, will be linear. Does that make sense?

      And YES! There will absolutely be puzzles or areas where you need to find out the right combination of powers to set things in motion or pass. Julian is very serious about his physics equations ;) This is something we’re very passionate about. Hope that helped.

  7. Bhazor says:

    “Nor, they got the K’Nor how”

  8. joelreyes says:

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  9. gruia says:

    1) Is replayability a priority? (meaning tree of quest, cosnequences, skill tree, matrix os stories)

    2) will it have difficulty settings? I really hope not. Make the player work and think why he can’t proceed.

    3) is writing and character development prioritized over gameplay mechanics? if not, is it on par?

    4) what is the kickstarter project you are looking forward to playing

    • ChrisPolus says:

      1) As stated earlier the quest / story itself will be pretty linear to keep assets and effort low for our small indie team. But we want to make sure there are multiple ways for you to reach the goal defined by the story. The game is more laid out to use skill, tactics and combinations of spells for fights and puzzles rather than huge and complex skill trees. It’s more about your ability as player rather than the level of your character ;) We planned for some comfort features but we’ll see how it works out regarding balancing.

      2) This is a little too early to be answered, I’m really sorry. Currently we haven’t planned for such a “setting”. But there needs to be some balancing when 1 player plays vs. when you play with 3 friends. We’ll figure something out I’m sure :) We also planned for some cool challenge levels where you will have lots of action and will get statistics like in Portal 1 (least steps, least portals, fastest time). Now we won’t count steps but something along the general idea. These will be fun levels you can play and re-play and try to improve your stats.

      3) I would say story and game mechanics are on par. I strongly feel this is not a standard “bad guys invade the planet” story, I feel we have interesting twists and turns and an original lore. We don’t have world class writers, naturally, but I personally find the story intriguing. There is not a lot of player character development as everything happens pretty successively in a more or less short period of time. I hope that answer makes sense and I understood your question correctly. Otherwise just ask again :)

      4) Whoa, I backed a lot of them and I’m eager to play them all. Some really cool projects coming there! I’m looking forward to seeing where Godus goes and République. I loved Divine Divinity and naturally backed Original Sin, also because they seem to have a super multiplayer system now (my wife and me are both waiting eagerly for that to come out, I got the multiplayer pack so we can play together, she’s a role player). Original Sin is probably the game I’m looking forward to playing the most. Apart from Son of Nor of course ;)

      Thanks gruia

      • ziusudra says:

        I was sold when you mentioned Dune and rpg.

        • ChrisPolus says:

          @ziusudra – Oups. I’m really sorry and I quickly had to check. I didn’t mention RPG, Craig did in his article. We classify Son of Nor as Action Adventure as we have no skill trees and no character classes with different abilities and such. If it’s really the classical RPG elements you’re looking for I’m sorry I have to disappoint you. :( I just wanted to quickly jump in here and make that clear.

  10. Darkwings says:

    This looks like the Avatar: The last Airbender (the animated series) RPG that we never had.

  11. ChrisPolus says:

    Hey JKjoker. Thanks for your honest opinion. I wanted to reply and say you were heard. And that we take critique seriously. We’re a team of huge, huge game lovers. If we find the time beside the project, we play together at night. It helps to get the head clear. I think Ricardo even puts every cent he earns at his day job into games ^^ And, really, all of us wish to make an incredible game that we all will love to play!

    A lot of effort was put into getting the basics straight: Over a year went into game mechanics, the technology, Unity 3D and building our distributed team. In that time, we experimented a lot with magical abilities and game controls and we think we found a good and fun way to play the game now. It’s more or less the fourth or fifth complete overhaul of how the game gets played and how the magical abilities get controlled :) We really focus on the details to make it feel right. Now, we’re slowly getting around to building on top of that foundation and testing if controls and gameplay still make sense the more content we put in. Only if we are satisfied we move on. I agree that’s not an efficient or economical way of leading a company. But what can I say, hehe. We’re an indie team of gamers and of course we want to create what we think is a joy to play and settle for no less. It might take a little longer but we hope to make the result a more enjoyable game to play.

    With that in mind, we’re slowly building the first levels and keep testing gameplay. Which means the game is still in its early stages content-wise. Not a lot of sophisticated puzzles exist yet – implemented in-game i mean. The purpose of the early areas is also to make players familiar with the controls. Getting them to learn step by step how to use and combine powers. The puzzles are easy here, but we implemented all the means and game rules behind the scenes to create very cool and sophisticated puzzles from the mechanics we set up. I hope that explains a little the basic looking puzzles we currently show in our videos.

    Thanks again for saying straight what you think. Sometimes one loses sight as you’re so deep in development. And this makes us go back and revisit some decisions and make the game better in the end! Thanks JKjoker

  12. ChrisPolus says:

    @Craig, we posted a step-by-step how to video regarding your clementine issue. Hope it helps.

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