Vagante, That Spelunky-Style RPG, Is Now On Kickstarter

By Graham Smith on August 19th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

When I last wrote about Vagante, I called it “Spelunky: The RPG”. Well done, past me! That’s a good way to describe the game – a procedurally-generated platformer with permadeath but also potions, item stats, hitpoints, etc. – and to do so in a way that will draw in the people who will like it. Are you one of those people? Then you might be interested to know that the previously free alpha build is now a demo for a just-launched Kickstarter project. The development team are looking to secure $50,000 to fund completion of the game.

Spelunky is probably my favourite game, and one of the reasons for that is the way it ditches the stats and lore of old roguelikes in favour of Miyamoto-style precision. As in, a bat is a bat is a bat, with an extremely simple behaviour and few properties. It’s interesting though, now that Spelunky exists, to watch all these other games – Magicite, Catacomb Kids, et al. – walk back and forth within the same design space.

Put simply, Vagante walks further away from Miyamoto and back towards Rogue, Nethack, etc. There are unidentified potions to drink. Who can resist those? Plus classes, magic, a broader selection of enemies, spell effects and so on.

A pledge of $15 nets you the finished game, while $30 will get you early access via the beta. The demo is available on the Kickstarter page now though for people who want to try-before-they-buy/hedge-before-they-pledge.

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16 Comments »

  1. SigmaCAT says:

    This game is a gazillion times too hard for me. Still, I’m glad to see it take a step further, even if I wish it stayed away from this Kickstarted Eldorado. Also, first!

  2. oldkc says:

    It is considerably less tough when you go heavy on the stealth ability, or get the shield skill straight away for the fighter. As with most procedural games, luck is a factor. For every time I completed it and kept going, there are about ten times I got my ass handed to me….

  3. Montavious says:

    So whats the objective of the game?

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Kill monsters, receive loot, repeat as necessary.

      The earlier demo would just keep throwing randomly-generated levels at you until you died. The “win condition” was beating the first three levels and the three available bosses, but you could play after that and keep getting a random repeat boss every level. I presume the final version will have a more definite objective, but I dunno.

  4. toxic avenger says:

    Looks so beautiful! Definitely going to support this one.

    This game, now, makes me think: I really hope this rogue like infatuation we are seeing with the indie community doesn’t end any time soon. I really love everything about the genre, not least of all the re-emergence of consequence of play, in that the things that you do, don’t do really make a life or death difference. I guess what stands in diametric opposite to this kind of consequence, metaphorically, are those RPG games (like Mass Effect or Dragon Age, I love them both, but…) where multiple conversation trees wind up giving the gamer the exact same experience, and often times with the exact same answers. I can’t suspend my disbelief like that, when games ask me to. Games today also almost beg players to save scum subtly, providing little to no consequence for that behavior either.

    • Phendron says:

      I don’t think there’s going to be less demand for challenging, intricate gameplay in the future, and procedural generation is only going to get better as time goes by, so we’re all going to be able to scratch our roguelike itch.

  5. Turkey says:

    Cool. I really liked the demo and I think it’s one of the first roguelites in a while that learned the right lessons from Spelunky.

  6. Choca says:

    I really enjoyed the demo so it’s an insta-back from me.

  7. rexx.sabotage says:

    worth noting that’s a new demo on the KS and not the earlier alpha build

  8. RanDomino says:

    This game is great, but I can’t get past the inability to functionally bind “up” and “jump” to the same key. It works for everything except makes dropping through platforms impossible. If they fix that they can have all my money.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    That is lookking pretty good. I might have to throw them a few bucks.

    Still sounds like a feminine hygiene product, though.

  10. Juza says:

    He/She who wanders. insta backed, awesome pixel art

  11. MellowKrogoth says:

    I don’t really get a Spelunky vibe from this. Combat seems more Terraria-like, i.e. messy and confused with loads of hit points, compared to Spelunky where enemies and you are mostly one-shot-kills and you tread carefully making every step, jump, attack and throw count.

    Some elements from classic roguelikes such as unidentified/potentially cursed objects are always cool though. Not many games have borrowed those systems since Diablo 1.

    • mishapsi says:

      We designed the combat to actually be pretty methodical, like it’s easy to figure out their timing, and patterns, and they give cues for when they are about to attack.

  12. Premium User Badge

    kavika says:

    Linux/OSX support would be great :)

    On the plus side, it is working decently, if slightly glitchily (mostly alpha of textures such as ladders turning white) under Wine on Ubuntu.

    • mishapsi says:

      Linux and Mac support are forthcoming, pretty soon after the ks.