Judero, the latest title from Scottish developer Jack King-Spooner, has just passed its Kickstarter target of £12,000.
The game follows the titular Judero, a celtic warrior who must explore a land inspired by the Scottish borders, populated with all manner of mythical creatures good and bad, to uncover the evil at work behind the scenes.
Jack of All Trades
Jack King-Spooner has long been one of the most unique voices on the Scottish games development scene, with hit titles such as Beeswing and Dujanah cementing his reputation for handcrafted aesthetics, intriguing narratives, and bizarre characters.
Judero is set to continue this tradition, with a striking claymation look and a fully 3D world to explore. This aesthetic, which is drawn from a mix of childhood nostalgia and King-Spooner’s own work as an artist prior to getting into games, lends the game a powerful first impression.
“It’s just how I make things really.” King-Spooner says, on the subject of Judero’s art style. “I like using real objects because I think people can subconsciously relate to them better than computer-made stuff. Also, it means I’m not constantly glued to a screen.”
Beyond the game’s visuals, Judero is also set to be a significant step forward mechanically as well, in the context of King-Spooner’s portfolio of titles.
“I always see each of my games as a stepping stone to the next, so Judero really follows on from the last. It has to be said though, this is a big step! Judero has robust combat and “possession” mechanics, aesthetic tricks I’ve picked up along the way are all in full swing and it’s on a proper 3d plane this time (instead of top-down or isometric or using parallax layers).”
While the gameplay in Judero does represent a significant evolution, the game will still be underpinned by King-Spooner’s core design philosophy: “I like my games to be accessible to people who don’t normally play games, yet have optional bits with more normative gameplay. I like to always be somewhat referencing the medium.”
No Place Like Home
Another common thread that runs through King-Spooner’s titles is their semi-autobiographical nature, and the way in which “NPCs relate aphoristic tit bits.” to the player. This is set to continue in Judero, which, as mentioned, is set in a world heavily inspired by the landscape of the Scottish borders, King-Spooner’s childhood home.
“It’s just where I grew up, and I realised that I love all the stories and the land there. I realised I’m sort of lucky to have it all ingrained in me, from Rabbie Burns to the Border Reivers. There is something about the land there though that I love more and more each year.”
The Final Push
While Judero has already reached its core funding target of £12,000, the stretch goal of £18,000, which will allow for the addition of a new area known as Elfland to the game, is still to be attained.
“Elfland is really an opportunity for us to go a bit wild. With the extra funding we can take the animations and adventuring to even more unexplored realms.” says King-Spooner of the new area. “I’m looking closely at the folk tales surrounding Tam Lin and the poetry of Sir Walter Scott and Keats to inform the area and kind of going back to the source to reimagine what these “faerie folk” were all about.”
The Kickstarter will continue running until next Thursday, the 10th of November, so if Elfland sounds good to you, you have until then to pledge your support!
Judero is set to be released in 2024. You can check out a demo of the game on Steam here, and you can add your support to the game’s Kickstarter campaign here.