A ribbiting pixel art RPG adventure with a unique rhythm combat system! Battle to the beat of the music in this charming adventure.
A ribbiting RPG adventure inspired by retro classics, elevated by modern tools!
A Frog’s Tale is a charming froggy RPG with a musical twist on classic turn-based gameplay, featuring hand-animated pixel art inspired by retro consoles like the SNES and GBA, enhanced for the modern era. A unique rhythm combat system, puzzles, and platforming challenges all synced to the beat of our amazing soundtrack provide an epic journey that may remind you of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Kingdom Hearts, or Tales of Symphonia.
Hop into a grand adventure in A Frog’s Tale, the debut game from AJ Norman (Norman Company) in collaboration with Mythcarver Games.
NOTE: The goal of this campaign is to fund continued development of the playable demo version of A Frog’s Tale. The costs associated with developing and bringing a high quality full-length RPG to market are more than we feel comfortable asking for in a crowdfunding campaign, therefore we set a reasonable goal amount with the intention of furthering development enough to land us the rest of the funding we need to complete the game from outside sources.
We’ve made significant development progress already over the last 2 years, but the only way production of the game will move forward is with your help. If what you see in this campaign excites you, consider pledging any amount to support our ongoing effort to create A Frog’s Tale.
You play as Norman, a young frog from the quiet forest village of Kero Pond. While investigating the abnormally large and aggressive bugs on the forest outskirts one day, an unlikely encounter with a mysterious cardinal bird sweeps our hero off on an extraordinary journey to find the broken shards of an ancient artifact with the alleged power to bring the dead back to life.
Use your frog hops and swing your sword to overcome obstacles, solve rhythm-based puzzles, and defeat any monsters that oppose Norman’s quest to find the broken shards. Along the way, you’ll learn the truth of the ancient artifact’s power and the secrets of the frog goddess Anura.
Our world is designed around freedom of movement and the key ability of the frog: jumping! Hop up ledges and across gaps while you explore a gorgeous fantasy environment!
Our movement system takes advantage of full analog control while maintaining pixel perfection to offer the smoothest gameplay experience possible.
“Rhythm RPG” means that more than just the battle system will have elements lined up to the beat of the background music. Our flexible systems allow us to manipulate world objects such as platforms, puzzle mechanisms, or object animations to any musical tempo.
Lily pad platforms, spike traps, and rotating puzzle pillars are just a few examples of rhythmic set pieces we are currently utilizing.
We’ve put a ton of care into designing charming characters with a large variety of interesting personalities and appearances. One of the most endearing things about an epic adventure is the cast of unforgettable characters we meet and help along the way, and that feeling of truly making an impact in their lives.
Many characters we encounter on our journey will offer our heroes optional sidequests to complete that will reward the player with fun story moments, character development, or bonus items to aid our quest!
Pay close attention to the context button in the HUD! Certain objects will outline in white and Norman will interact with them when the button is pressed. Experiment as you explore to gain a deeper connection with the world of A Frog’s Tale.
Enemies can be found wandering freely while exploring or hiding and waiting to ambush the player. Coming into contact with an enemy begins combat and transitions to battle mode.
If you land a jump or slice a vulnerable enemy with your sword, they may get stunned and give you an advantage during battle! Always mind your surroundings to gain the upper hand!
The unique combat system of A Frog’s Tale combines classic RPG gameplay with our fresh take on rhythm action inputs. A banging battle soundtrack and juicy pixel animations blend together to create a satisfying synergy of audio and visual excellence, underlined by a thorough understanding of the balance of tradition vs. innovation in turn-based battles.
The visual themes of our rhythm action input system are inspired by various arcade dance games. The player will press the button as it overlaps with the ring in time with the beat of the background music to inflict maximum damage and block incoming enemy attacks!
Our team has combined decades of experience playing, dissecting, and developing RPGs, as well as a solid understanding of music theory throughout the ranks of the staff. We’re excited to bring something new to the table that respects the pioneers of the genre while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of action input commands and meaningful audio implementation.
Press the D-pad or control stick in any direction to move! Feel the breeze on your slimy skin as you run around wherever your froggy heart desires.
Press the jump button to perform a hop, the signature move of the frog. Jump up ledges, across gaps, and on top of vulnerable enemies to stun them while exploring!
Select a jump attack during battle to deal damage to vulnerable grounded and airborne foes! Be careful, if an enemy has a sharp weapon or spiked body, you may land on it and take damage yourself!
The text on the context button will change to indicate which objects are interactable. Speaking to NPCs, reading signs, opening treasure chests, and shaking bushes to reveal hidden items are just a few examples of context sensitive actions.
Press the sword button to swing your blade while exploring! Slice vulnerable enemies in the field to gain an advantage in battle! Try slicing bushes, plant life, mushrooms, and other objects around the world as you explore!
The sword attack is effective against grounded foes that may have a method of defense against jumping. Be mindful that flying enemies can easily dodge out of the way of sword attacks.
It is essential to pay close attention to the timing of enemy attacks in order to best defend against them! Press the block button at the correct time to negate a percentage of damage from an incoming enemy attack.
Pixel art holds a special place in our hearts, and much effort has been poured into establishing a unique aesthetic that pays homage to retro consoles while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of what is possible with pixel art & animation.
We are using the same vertical pixel resolution as the SNES, but extended horizontally to fit modern widescreen displays. This ensures that the camera is zoomed out just the right amount and that each pixel has a significant impact in the grand scheme of design. It is important that “pixel perfection” is maintained, meaning everything on screen adheres to our pixel resolution and moves in whole-pixel increments.
Each and every asset is meticulously hand-animated to be as smooth and charming as possible. Colors are carefully chosen to bring cohesion to each scene. A blend of old-school and modern graphical techniques combine to offer the player a nonstop visual treat.
To further emphasize the importance of production quality and strong presentation in A Frog’s Tale, we’ve commissioned an intro cinematic that will play before the title screen. It showcases the main characters during some heroic moments of the story without spoiling anything significant. Inspired by the intro sequences in our favorite classic games, we hope this hypes you up for the journey ahead.
This incredible cinematic was created by La Niche Collective (Twitter). We would love to continue working with them and provide even more cinematics to further flesh out the presentation of the full game, but for now our sole focus is on delivering a quality gameplay experience for the demo version.
A Frog’s Tale is being developed using Mythcarver Games’ Fletcher, a proprietary module within the Unity engine.
The game utilizes a hybrid 2D/3D rendering pipeline to easily allow depth and elevation changes with no restrictions. The levels are created using 3D geometry first, with our pixel art and effects layered on top. This enables us to quickly design and iterate on level design with an initial focus on fun and exploration with purpose.
We’ve also developed a tailor-made solution to handle our complex rhythm battle system. Animations and actions all line up to the beat of the music. Our system can handle single or multi-button inputs in custom rhythmic patterns, any tempo, utilizing dynamic audio split into separate layers and loops, as well as sound effects that harmonize with the background music.
A Frog’s Tale existed as a collection of songs before it was ever a game! From the beginning, the soundtrack was purposefully designed to instill a sense of epic nostalgia and wonder by using many of the same sounds and tools used by the composers of our favorite classic games. Since we are not confined to the same limitations, we are utilizing modern tools and techniques to elevate the audio to the next level. Confident melodies, groovy rhythms, recurring leitmotifs, and lush environmental ambience all combine to provide a satisfying sonic experience and immerse the player in the world of A Frog’s Tale.
AJ Norman is the primary composer and audio director of A Frog’s Tale. Being the creator of the project, I have a clear vision of the audio picture I want to paint and I possess the skills to be able to achieve that vision. I have over 10+ years creating original music, mixing, mastering, and performing live shows across the country.
I’ve brought on a few guest composers to fill in the gaps and provide additional audio ideas while I spread my focus between game design, pixel art, animation, writing, cutscene direction, etc.
So far the guest composers include:
Lindsay Lowend (twitter.com/Lindsay_Lowend)
Matt Hodsdon (http://www.facebook.com/chaosframe)
The team has experience porting to consoles and have taken limitations into consideration from the start while developing A Frog’s Tale. The game is planned to release on PC when completed, with a Nintendo Switch port contingent on successful funding, public demand, and approval from Nintendo.
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The hero of our story, Norman, is a simple young frog that enjoys reading books, spending time in nature, and playing a nice round of gorf. A tragic accident resulted in Norman’s father failing to return home after the annual World Rejuvenation Ritual, and Norman is determined to find out exactly what happened to him when he is old enough to venture beyond the forest.
Norman has a hard time asking others for help, but during the journey he will meet a loveable cast of companions that show him the power of friendship.
As an egg, Marty was found floating down the river by the Kero Pond village elder frog. None of the frogs had ever seen a turtle before, so they decided to raise Marty as one of their own in the way of the frog. Norman and Marty became best friends as they grew up together.
Marty is not sure what he is or where he came from. Always searching for answers, he is constantly on the lookout for anybody that looks like him. Despite all of this, Marty is an optimistic jokester that always tries to find positivity in any given situation.
A mysterious cardinal bird with unclear motives. He is on a quest to find the broken shards of a powerful ancient artifact.
Our first encounter with this cardinal bird is the catalyst that sets the events of A Frog’s Tale into motion.
The many frogs of Kero Pond. The village elder and his wife are in charge of making big decisions for the community and ensuring that tradition carries on. Hopper and Herb run the Kero Cafe, a popular hang out spot in the village. Mr. Croakdale can usually be found by the Gorf Club practice green working on his chipping and putting.
The most basic and common creature found in A Frog’s Tale is the Grub. They are vulnerable to mostly everything and attack by hurling their body towards their target at mach speed.
Grubs can come in many variations, such as: wielding a spear, flying, and more! Use the appropriate battle moves to inflict damage on these Grub variants!
The Worm is a slippery foe that can easily dodge out of the way of non-perfectly timed attacks. It will burrow under the ground before emerging to attack the player. Make sure your rhythm action inputs are on point if you want to defeat the Worm in combat!
The Glow Beetle is a friendly bug that uses healing magic to restore health to its comrades. Caught in a conflict they don’t understand, the Glow Beetle is just trying to help.
A Frog’s Tale is jam packed full of exciting places to discover and explore! Each major location in the game is designed around a specific animal species and their unique culture, history, and values as a society, infused with a heavy dose of wholesome fantasy and whimsical vibes.
Concept art of Norman & Marty exploring the Moonfang Hollow caves.
Kero Pond is the village of frogs hidden deep in the forest. The frogs in Kero Pond value relaxation above all else. Some of the facilities include a Gorf Club, the Kero Cafe, and a library full of culturally significant frog literature.
Despite the relaxing attitude of the Kero Pond frogs, they are trusted with a very important task by the frog goddess Anura herself: protect Anura’s Teardrop pendant in the Frog Temple, and every year, send one frog on the journey to complete the World Rejuvenation Ritual.
If our original funding goal is exceeded, we will be able to present you with an expanded roadmap of stretch goals to further enhance the gameplay experience of A Frog’s Tale using the additional funds.
A Frog’s Tale is a co-production between Norman Company and Mythcarver Games. Our atypical production teams mix seasoned industry professionals averaging 10+ years of experience with passionate industry newcomers that have the ability to deliver quality.
This allows us to align vision and know-how in unprecedented ways as we’re all united under the will to deliver an experience that leaves a lasting impression.
AJ Norman – Composer, SFX, Writer, Pixel Art + Animation
“That’s me, the creator of A Frog’s Tale! Growing up you could find me at the mall arcade playing DDR or at home grinding away in an RPG. Music and video games are my two greatest joys in life, and A Frog’s Tale is my attempt to combine these two things in a tasteful and meaningful way.
Over the course of the development, I dedicated a majority of my free time towards learning pixel art and animation, falling in love with the process along the way. I will do whatever it takes to see my project through to completion!”
Cheri – Lead Illustrator
Michel – Business Development & Design (15+ years exp.)
PAL – Technical Director (12+ years exp.)
Stephanie – Producer (8+ years exp.)
– Thomas Lean – Pixel art direction (Twitter)
– Alex Corgi – Pixel art + animation (Twitter)
– Pilou – Pixel art environments (Twitter)
– Noah Mead – Font & logo direction (Twitter)
– Alix Lytton – Character design (Twitter)
– PPGutzo – Creative consultant (Twitter)
Listed figures rounded to the nearest percent.
We are excited to share that by far the largest majority of funds raised on Kickstarter will go straight to development of the demo/game.
The remaining funds will help us cover necessary taxes as well as Kickstarter fees. These taxes and fees are variable and may raise or lower in cost during the time of funding.
It is no secret that video games cost a lot of money to make. I am a first-time developer with extremely limited money and no prior shipped titles to help fund this game. I have poured my heart, my soul, my life savings and everything I have into making this project a reality, and I have done my very best to prove that I have what it takes to see this game through to completion with my team. I’ve already exhausted every resource I have and asked every family member and friend I know for help, and it has gotten us this far. I am aware of the many pitfalls that most first-time developers encounter while attempting to make their over-ambitious dream game, and I’m doing my best to avoid all of those issues and build a game that can realistically be finished using a reasonable scope & budget.
I’ve aligned myself with the absolute best game designers, illustrators, pixel artists, industry executives, and programmers that I could find, and we are all united under the mission to deliver a quality game experience first and foremost. I am aware that our campaign offers nothing in terms of physical rewards, but please understand that every dollar spent on physical reward fulfillment logistics is a dollar that could have been spent improving the game or adding features. If the game is good, all kinds of fun physical merch, console ports, and other opportunities will inevitably come, so our primary focus is on creating a high quality demo experience that will allow us to secure the funding necessary to complete development of the full game.
We’ve pitched to publishers already with limited success, so this is our chance to prove that this game deserves to be made. With the support of a loving community, this is our opportunity to make the game how we want to make it, firmly establishing the vision before welcoming outside funding.
Please join us in the journey of developing A Frog’s Tale.
Norman Company LLC 2022