The Ballad Singer
– Write your own fantasy story!
A visual novel, inspired from RPGs and gamebooks, where you can experience many dynamic adventures through 1700 stories and 40 endings!
We’ve taken elements from game-books and visual novels to develop a videogame with an unprecedented format. TBS offers a fantasy story yet to be written, where the world changes and reacts to the player’s actions. This will allow you to live up to 1700 stories and 40 different endings, your decisions will affect the way the tale unfolds. Every single development and subplot in your story will be completely narrated and illustrated, even the smallest ones. Death is final, you won’t be able to go back to try and correct your mistakes. In TBS, every choice is crucial.
Pre-Alpha footage gameplay video
In Cooperative Battles, two playable characters will join together by combining their abilities with extraordinary results! This is your first quest in TBS, if your friends will finance the game through this *LINK*, reaching 100%, you will unlock this new feature within the game for all Kickstarter backers! (Remember to use just that link because it’s the only way we have to track new supporters!)
The Domino System is what allows you to live thousands of different narratives within The Ballad Singer. The paths will change according to your actions, the characters you have selected, and their progress or failures. The system is inspired by Neural Networks and Chaos Theory. Each choice you’ll make will influence the options at your disposal, not just for the character you’ll be using in that moment, but also for the others.
Upon the death of one hero, you’ll begin playing with another adventurer, in a world that has been completely reshaped by the previous choices. In the single player campaign, you’ll play as one of the four main characters, following their adventures in the world of Hesperia.
The main elements considered by the Domino System are the selected character and the decisions you’ll be taking. The heroes are four different adventurers, each with their own features. You will shape their fate, through your actions. Each decision unfolds a new page in your story, told by the narrating voice and depicted by the illustrations. Surviving will be hard, anticipating the repercussions of your choices on the other side of the world will be almost impossible. By killing the dragon, will Leon have saved the town from its fury? Or has he shifted the whole balance of the region? If Leon were to die in the fight, would he condemn the whole country? Could the dragon favor one of the factions?
Over your ballad, you’ll be able to play with up to four adventurers, each with his or her own goals and limits. Some much stronger than others. They don’t know it, but their own individual destiny is in the hands of each other. Through your decisions you’ll be able to favor or compromise the aspirations of the other adventures and of the entire world of Hesperia!
Our goal is ambitious: to rearrange the fundamentals of the Fantasy genre, creating something completely new. The world of Hesperia is a fantastic yet realistic universe, where the laws of science merge with those of magic.
The magic system itself, the enemies, and the monsters are all treated individually, each match has been studied to be different: you will never find the same situation twice or a “default” method to approach fights.
Each match will be potentially lethal if not approached with caution. Magic is based on the control of natural elements, but it is rare and hard to master. Magical objects are legends, and wizards themselves need to wear armor, as melee fights come by often and can rarely be avoided.
Hesperia is a cruel world, merciless on unprepared adventurers. Don’t trust anyone, use your instinct and your knowledge, this is the only way to survive and to continue your quest.
The RPG component in TBS is highly important. Only through a deep understanding of the characters and their abilities, just as with the story of the game world, will you be able to face the challenges of The Ballad Singer at your best, getting to the end of your tale.
You’ll often be called upon to make choices based on wit, strategy, and even ethics. Use your common sense, but don’t forget the past of the characters and their ambitions. Each choice could change the aspect, the equipment, the morality and the psyche of our heroes. The characters are as dynamic as the world, and are reshaped with each choice.
Playing without empathizing with the heroes, taking random decisions, will often result in their death. However, in The Ballad Singer, dying is part of the story, so it’s not a “Game Over”. When the character you’re playing as dies, you will be able to play as a new hero, within the same story, in a different narrative path.
Your ballad will be over only once you are out of available characters, either because they’re dead, killed by your decisions, or simply because you haven’t met them yet. This aspect shouldn’t be seen as a negative, as we’ve decided that each narrative path must have the same relevance.
Playing through the game more than once is a paramount part of the experience, if faced without the fundamental premises of any Role-Playing Game, it will indeed result in a hard and perilous journey.
The “My Ballad” mode lets you write your story in the world of Hesperia, starting by selecting one of the available characters. Throughout your adventure, depending on your choices, you will also have the chance to play as other heroes, moving towards final or intermediate endings, goals and failures, new tales or death.
Once your campaign is over, a map will be displayed, showing the narrative paths you have taken, the characters you have played with, and the goals you have achieved, allowing you to share your experience with other The Ballad Singer players.
Facing the “Hot-seat” campaign mode, you’ll have the chance to share the experience with a friend, who will select a second character. You will begin the story with your hero and, upon death or the completion of a chapter, the second player will take his turn, making his way through the world of Hesperia with another adventurer. However, the world won’t be the same, as it will have been influenced by his decisions and by those of the previous player! This mode opens a series of cooperative and competitive dynamics. Playing in competitive mode, a complex system of trophies and scores will decide the winner, while, opting for cooperation, once the game ends, the final results will display all your contributions! The “Hot-seat” mode is offline, and has been designed to give you the opportunity to share the story with a friend, taking turns.
Music in TBS plays a fundamental role, all characters have their own soundtrack, just as every region and situation. These aspects have been thought out to make players experience every different combination of situations as a unique event. Two composers are working on the soundtrack: Michael Firmont and Gianluca Ferro. Beside working on a German TV series, Michael collaborates with several composers, directors and producers in Los Angeles and London and has written music for different international movies and projects.
Gianluca is a talented composer and guitar player, and has published several records. His last one, “A Hole in the Ocean”, came out in 2016.