Giana Devs Return To Kickstarter With Ravensdale

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (which I keep wanting to read as Giana: Twisted Sister because my brain is a furnace fueled solely by old-school metal) was quite good – if not, er, quite great. John enjoyed it well enough, which seems to suggest that the folks at Black Forest Games are highly capable at making things scroll sideways. They also made some serious bank on Kickstarter, both from a monetary standpoint and in the form of a much more important currency: trust. BFG (I SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE) promised and delivered, and now they aim to do so a second time. Project Ravensdale, however, isn’t exactly Giana 2: Mötley Crüe Boogaloo.

So it’s still a sidescroller, but the setting eschews Giana’s world-switching shenanigans in favor of oil ‘n’ guts “garage fantasy”. Basically, we get both orcs and men with rocket boots. Every Videogame Ever, consider the bar raised. Also, the whole world runs on oil and gasoline (even, er, hazelnut toast spreads), so I expect a brow-furrowing message about about global warming’s anaconda-like grip on our planet’s pulse. Or lots of explosions.

Excitingly, Ravensdale looks heavily co-op oriented in a way that hearkens back to Magicka – at least, if the above video is any indication. BFG’s description sounds a bit more traditional, but there’s still plenty of promise:

“While Ravensdale is going to make co-operative play as rewarding as possible, single-player is not a stripped-down co-op mode – co-op builds on single player and expands it. For example, an enemy bearing a heavy shield can be brute-forced by shooting or slamming the shield until it breaks, outmaneuvered and attacked from the back, reduced to a fine paste by hazards, or the shield can be simply ignored by using a piercing weapon that hits all enemies in its path. Co-op offers you the additional option of sandwiching the enemy, assuring that one player always hits its unshielded side.”

A still-early item called the Arc Connector, meanwhile, offers a much more tangible example, linking players together and allowing them to do things like “piggyback” off each others’ movement, block shots intended for one another, and share special item effects like flame or piercing abilities. These sorts of tactics will apparently hinge on context, so co-op will stir together a pleasant blend of discovery and all-out diesel-fueled carnage yeah.

BFG is asking for $500,000, which is a rather steep leap up from Giana’s $150,000. And sure, Giana raked in a crisp pile of goodwill, but Ravensdale is also entirely new IP. No outpouring of love for a strangely endearing Mario clone here. Can it still succeed? With just a hair over $20,000 to its sadly generic name after nearly 48 hours, it’s not off to the strongest start. There’s potential in a zanier, mecha-fantastical version of Contra, but I’m not sure if people want it that much. What do you think?


  1. Flopper says:

    Gotta love devs who stay grounded and keeps it real! I played the demo of Giana Sisters but i never ended up picking it up. Probably because I have like 8 million other games on Steam I haven’t finished or even started yet. =P

    • BTAxis says:

      You and just about everyone else, I imagine. It’s about what you WANT to play.

  2. Torn says:

    Ugh, fine. I love side scrolling action games. Take my money!

    Still some ‘advanced scout’ tier left, $15.

  3. Dermott says:

    looks fine, but i want a 2/4 pack pledge level… germans can read some more about it here: link to

  4. Mitch says:

    I really dig the artwork of this game. The video above is cool, too. I wish them good luck for the development of this promising game. :-)

  5. Syra says:

    It’s probably says something about our heads if you keep reading it as twisted sister and I keep reading it as Va-


  6. RuySan says:

    Twisted Sister and Motley Crue are Old-school Metal now??? Or maybe that’s the american definition of Metal…

    But on topic, Giana Sisters was amazing, so i’m eagerly awaiting this one.

  7. kwyjibo says:

    I don’t think they’re going to get $500k, Project Giana didn’t even raise half that. I don’t think Precinct will make it either.

    The problem I have with Ravensdale, is that the whole 2.5D goblin action look reminds me of Trine. This wouldn’t be a bad thing per se, but Trine 2 looked amazing, and this doesn’t.

  8. xcession says:

    I love Kickstarter videos like this: lots of regular people shoved in front of a camera with little/no rehearsal, talking awkwardly with their hands. Reminds you that you’re doing good for normal people, not some faceless behemoth.

    Also this looks fucking ace.

  9. Keyrock says:

    So it’s more or less steampunk Contra? Cool.

  10. nekoneko says:

    No thanks. They already used Kickstarter once. Where did the money from Giana Sisters go? Kickstarter isn’t and should not be a money pool where you go to beg the faceless god Internet for cash whenever you want to do something new.

    • Greggh says:

      I kinda agree to this… Kickstarter – and crowdsourcing in general – is for projects, not for a continued, (financially) sustainable operation.

      If (big IF) the Gianna project didn’t turn in enough profit to enable them to seek out resources on their own, then that’s that for me. I disagree with this (hypotetical) way of using crowdsourcing as a source of revenue simply because it’s not healthy for everyone in the end.

      • billboy says:

        They mentioned on the KS page that giana didn’t provide enough money to make any new game. So it means they really need support to create the game.

  11. BFG Niko says:

    Hi there,

    I’m part of the team at BFG and would like to first of all say thank you for the awesome article. I would also like to clarify a few points I see creeping up in the comments. :)

    1. People comment on a very steep amount we are asking for. To this I can only say, that’s how much the game costs to make. It is not an amount we decided on lightly and it is also not the total amount we need for the game. It is the amount we need in addition to the money we put in ourselves to get the game made in time, and in the quality we think our players/fans deserve.

    2. We are using revenues from Giana to start the project. Like mentioned above, the KS is to get the remainder necessary. With Giana that amount was low, because the game was close to being finished. With RD it is higher, because we are at the very beginning.

    We are happy to discuss these things with you and try to be as transparent about it as possible, which is also why I came out here and am posting this. Please don’t hesitate to ask us anything and we will try to answer to the best of our abilities. Game development is a complicated beast and we realize that processes sometimes don’t seem to make sense from the outside. But that’s why we want to communicate as much as possible. :)

    Anyway, thanks again for the article. Thanks for the comments and all the best from the Black Forest. :)

  12. DrMcCoy says:

    Two reasons for me not to back Ravensdale:
    1) Still no Linux version for Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
    2) No Linux version announced on Ravensdale

    So yeah, screw them. :)

  13. BFG Niko says:

    Hi Bones ;) ,

    we are very sorry that we couldn’t supply a version for Linux for GSTD and currently won’t make a promise of doing it for Ravensdale. I understand that is frustrating for people using Linux (or other OS we didn’t port to) and I can only apologize, hoping that we will, at some point, have the option to do it.

    Until then, all the best,
    BFG Niko

  14. claumoe says:

    Backed it immediately. Looks like great fun!