We’ve moved away from the blog-style website and gave Koe (声) a makeover and the love it deserves on its own page. Check it out by clicking the image below!
Koe is now on Steam Greenlight, we’d appreciate it ever so much if you would vote for us! It’ll allow us to release Koe on the largest PC game distributor. Click the image below to go to our Greenlight page!
UPDATE: We have been greenlit! The image below now goes to our steam page.
The Koe Prototyping Demo was available on this page. Due to the amount of updates since the demo, it is no longer indicative of the final gameplay of Koe and has been removed from our servers. If you enjoyed the demo and would like to contribute to Koe’s development then you may be delighted to know that Koe will begin pre-orders in August, around when the Alpha releases.
A few questions we’ve been getting recently about Koe so here’s a small FAQ
When will Koe be released?
Koe has been pushed back a few times due to the team waiting on assets, we’ve released a prototyping session and hope to have more playable material very soon. The best place to keep updated is on our Kickstarter page.
Which platforms will you target?
Currently, Koe is being developed for Windows, Mac, Linux and PS Vita.
Will Koe have Online functionality?
Currently there is a system to share cards/words only, we may add more functionality if there is more interest in it.
I see that you don’t update your website regularly. Where can I get updates on Koe?
We decided to use Kickstarter as our main update platform, updates are currently monthly over at http://kck.st/1c8NbwL.
The images don’t show up on your website, where can I see what the game looks like?
For some reason, images were lost when we changed hosts. The exact same images are available on our campaign page at http://kck.st/1c8NbwL, but take a look at the updates to see the updated version of the game.
How much will Koe cost/where will it be distributed?
Both of these are still yet to be decided. Koe will (currently) be digital only, minus the Kickstarter physical copies.
I missed the Kickstarter! Can I still help fund Koe?
We’re glad you’re interested in helping us, however we currently don’t want to continue funding. We’ll set up a pre-order system closer to release.
My question isn’t answered here. How can I contact you?
You can contact us over on Kickstarter which is the preferred method, or send us an email using the link at the top of the website.
Hope you’re all doing well!
The Strawberry Games forum is now available at http://strawberry-games.com/forum/ for updates and discussion on Koe. The updates will be done through Kickstarter first as usual.
Please note that you need to have a Kickstarter or PayPal backer email to sign up and view the forum.
Hello! I’ve finally launched the Kickstarter for Koe. It would be awesome if you guys could come and back the project and give me some feedback on it. Everything you need to know about what I want to do during the future of Koe is available on the Kickstarter page, so come and take a look!
So, let’s start off with a short introduction to something you die-hard JRPG fans would be interested in- The battle system!
For the record, the art in this game will be changed at a later date, the low poly assets are so the game works on even the slowest of computers for testing. You may also need to install the Japanese packs for your system to get some characters on this post rendering properly, or else you might see squares, but hopefully you won’t!
Koe features a traditional turn-based battle system, where you are given Japanese words from various sources (NPCs, chests, monsters, shops etc) and you use these words as moves in battle, you can combine them to make sentences for better moves, but that’s for a different post. You may get the Japanese word for sword (katana/かたな) as the item below.
You can then select this word in battle to vanquish enemies.
..and this is pretty much the gist of it! You need to know which words turn in to which moves. Did you see the word again? It looks like this in game.
If you’ve never dabbled across Japanese before, the big character, 刀, is a Kanji, a character adapted from Chinese, and the characters on the side are in Hiragana, a syllabary in Japanese. In this case, the Hiragana is basically the way to read the Kanji. Don’t worry if you don’t understand this here, Koe will have a great introduction to this, and you’ll be able to revisit it as much as you like! For now, let’s look at the characters on the side か, た, and な which are ka, ta, and na, respectively. See what that makes? Katana! In Koe, these characters are the very soul of battle, so the more you use your moves, the more you will power up those characters.
As you power up the characters, your moves will get stronger, become more useful or change completely! You will need to power up all of them though, there are dozens of moves, and 3 different charts! If you’ve never seen Hiragana before, the charts look similar to this;
Obviously, all of this will be taught to you, and you will start off with only a few characters, and earn others along the way. So that’s the basics of the battle system, of course there will be a lot more, such as party members, big bosses and dungeons, which I will go on to talk about next time. For now, spread the word and let me know what you think of the battle system below, any feedback is great feedback!
So it’s the start of a new year, though not really start of a new project as I’ve been working on this game on paper and code for almost four months now, I’ll explain what this site, and the first project is all about.
Firstly, this a personal blog of sorts, as I’m the only person who is working on it’s sole project, but I have friends helping me with the language-side of things but the website itself is updated by me. I don’t know why I’ve called the studio “Strawberry Games.” It might be because I’ve been called a strawberry a few times or because I just really like strawberries, but hey, here we are and that’s not very interesting so I’m gonna start explaining the project to you which is probably the sole reason you are here in the first place.
Koe（声）pronounced “ko-eh” is a role-playing game in the style of traditional JRPG games such as Dragon Quest, Pokemon and Final Fantasy and is influenced heavily by them. See, this next part is a lot harder to explain, but essentially what I want to do in the game is give you an introduction to the Japanese language within the game itself. I know tonnes of people who are so interested in this style of gaming, as well as Anime and Manga, and who have wanted to learn Japanese because of it, but have no idea where they should start, so why not a fully-fledged story-driven JRPG that gives you a nice start with the language itself? Now, this is usually the time I’d expect most people to run away thinking “oh no, another educational game where all we do is look at words and characters for a while that is somehow wrapped around a ‘game’ which it probably isn’t.” Which I’d probably agree with, though let me try to keep you interested for a few more minutes, because there is a twist.
The game itself will be a game before anything else, not a flash-card application nor a voice recognition translator, but rather I will put the game, and therefore the gameplay, before anything else. This means it will play like a JRPG, there will be random battles, bosses, a story, pets, wizards, cities, houses as well as cats and you will play through collecting items, experience points, weapons and everything else that comes with that. Well then, where does the Japanese itself come in? Well, it comes in the form of items. All items in the games are basically Japanese words that are initially taught to you using amazing communicative language teaching techniques, which is easier said as “you don’t really have to be taught anything, you’ll learn the words from using the items” but, obviously, most of the game and descriptions will be in English because this is an introduction to the language, so the game will help you every step of the way, though don’t expect any help when you’re out of cures and almost killed by a 2-headed dragon.
I’ve deliberately left a lot out of the description of gameplay, as I want to dedicate posts to the gameplay, world, story, battle system and characters. I’m also the sole developer/programmer/artist/animator of the game so it may be a few days before I can get everything together, but expect all your questions to be answered in the coming month.
So, for now, Happy New Year! Though the art style isn’t anywhere near final, I’ll leave you with the first screenshot of Koe.