2D side-scroller Once Upon a Runner has just half a day left to meet its $5,000 goal. The game follows the adventures of fire mage Ella as she explores a world based on fairy tales as she tries to find her way back home. The real selling point here is the 2D art, which really caught our eye when browsing Kickstarter. Bright and colourful, it evokes the fairy-tale quality underlined in the story.
We caught up with developer SaltyPepper via email and chatted about Once Upon a Runner, art, and the direction for the game:
Can you give me a more detailed breakdown of where the budget will go if you’re successfully funded? How far along are you with assets etc?
Absolutely. 50% of the budget will go towards our artists, 30% will go to administrative costs like marketing fees, hardware, software, developer fees and of course lawyers. 10% will go to paying Kickstarter and Amazon and the other 10% will go to backer rewards. The art assets themselves are completed, so it’s just a matter of getting our artists paid for the work that they have done for us!
If you’re not successfully funded, what’s the plan for the direction of Once Upon a Runner?
We still want to get Once Upon a Runner out to the public so even if we are not successfully funded we will release the game. Of course since we’ll have to find other ways of funding the game we’ll have to push back the release date.
What made you choose a fairy-tale concept for the game?
Personally, I’ve always been interested in fairy tales and mythology and also loved video games so Once Upon a Runner was a great way to combine these two loves. We wanted to stay true to the source material, but also wanted to add a twist, which is why the stories are told through Ella’s point of view. Narrative wise, the fairy tale theme also plays into the general world of the game.
Once Upon a Runner is the only game listed on your site, but you’ve been around since 2011- what other projects have SaltyPepper worked on, and how have they prepared you for this one?
Previously we were working on a game called SaltyPepper, a PC ARPG, but decided to put the game on hold when we discovered that our team wasn’t large enough to create the game that would live up to our standards. Instead, we decided to work on smaller projects, which is when Once Upon a Runner was born. Once Upon a Runner serves as a prequel of sorts to the PC game as it takes place in the same world and first introduces the portals to the different worlds. The fairy tale theme itself runs through the PC game as well and plays a very important part of the narrative. We also have future games in the works that will also expand upon the story and setting of the world of SaltyPepper.
From these experiences, we’ve been able to streamline our work process by using project management tools and keeping up-to-date with weekly team meetings. We also now have a better idea as to the workload that our team can handle and the most effective way to communicate with each other since our team members are from around the world.
Has it been a challenge to blend bright 2D art with more painterly backgrounds?
It has definitely been an interesting process but we believe that the different visual style really lends itself to the idea that Ella has teleported to a different world. We hope that players feel the same way!
Good luck, SaltyPepper! You can find Once Upon a Runner here.