JANUARY 1st, 2014 — Ultimate Fantasy Studio has stepped up to the Kickstarter platform for the first time to reach out and encourage all classic role-playing game enthusiasts and casual gamers alike to discover and embrace The Meridian Shard; a nostalgic, 2D, single-player, DRM-Free, high fantasy adventure role-playing game that offers a refreshingly keen focus on story, characters, dialogue and player choice.
After 13 months in development, The Meridian Shard is well on its way to becoming a playable RPG within the next year. However, as the the project’s writer and developer, Justin Cuff concedes, “No man is an island. Funding this exciting project on my own from the beginning has been a challenging and very rewarding experience in independence, but it’s time to connect with future players and backers so that I can earn the support I need to finish the job.”
Cuff, who founded Ultimate Fantasy Studio in 2012, is hoping for a financial boost that will help him bring his game to the finish line, and explains that after a detailed search and comparison of various online funding sources, Kickstarter with its ‘creative projects only’ policy seemed to him to be the most appropriate choice.
“Let’s face it, there are lots of crowdfunding sites to choose from, each with their own merits, but if you’re attempting to raise money for a creative arts project such as a video game, in my opinion, you’re much more likely to connect with an enthusiastic gaming community on Kickstarter, than you are on a platform where your campaign may be listed among some other, more urgent personal causes, like some poor guy or gal stranded with no medical insurance in a foreign hospital, scarecrowed in a body-cast following a drunken fall from the back of an elephant that happened directly in front of a charging herd of wilderbeasts. How am I going to compete with that?”
It is true that although there are many unsuccessful fundraising campaigns on Kickstarter, the company’s large community and all-or-nothing fundraising model has undeniably helped many creatives to achieve, and in some cases, overwhelmingly surpass their intended campaign goals. As of Dec 31st, 2013, Kickstarter’s online stats page claimed that $931 million had so far been pledged toward the various 127,591 projects hosted on its website, with an overall successful funding rate of 43.71%.
The in-game story of The Meridian Shard takes place in The Queen’s Realm, a fictional parallel universe and alternate reality already established in Cuff’s 2011 dark fantasy novel, ‘Ultimate Fantasy – The Queen’s Realm.’ When the corpses of 49 soldiers and miners are discovered with no obvious causes of death at a remote army-secured mining encampment, the tragic discovery sparks fears that a rising new plague may be starting its course and seeking new hosts. Following the mysterious event, a talented young warlock and mercenary recruit, who the player controls, is urgently dispatched with the task of delivering a royal scroll to the legendary Dularian healers, who may be able to help. But as he sets out on his journey, he soon finds that not all is as it seems, and that his straightforward mission is instead leading him on a perilous quest toward a painful truth that will test his heart and soul beyond all measure.
Aside from the detailed textual information about the world and characters provided throughout the game, players will be offered a variety of choices in their responses and actions which can affect the direct outcome of certain situations, as well as the possibility of altering the actual ending of the story.
· Save Anywhere - No mandatory check-points to reach in order to save. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
· Optional Party Members - Players are never forced to take any other characters along with them.
· Multiple Choice Plot Progression - Almost every interaction with the world around the player offers at least 2 different choices of dialogue/responses and actions.
· Turn-Based - Combat will play out in ordered turns with varying factors that can change the attack order and success rate of either opponent(s)
· Side-Quests - Multiple characters will have various tasks for the player outside of the main story and game path.
The Meridian Shard (YouTube)
Check out the latest developments:
About Ultimate Fantasy Studio
Ultimate Fantasy Studio serves as a creative development platform and digital media resource creator, curator and publisher with an online network of independent programmers, writers, artists and composers to produce unique and affordable role-playing video games and eBooks.