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Keep Skullgirls Growing

Lab Zero Games needs funds to complete DLC characters for Skullgirls! Squigly and Big Band are funded, now for the final character!

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Are you ready for new Skullgirls characters? We know we are!

A few weeks ago we revealed Squigly, our first DLC character. And less than 24 hours into this campaign, we successfully funded her! And shortly thereafter, we funded her stage and story mode!

Not only that, you helped us fund Big Band, Skullgirls’ first male character, as well as his stage! We're all absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by your support.

Our last challenge is to see if we can fund one last character before the campaign ends-- a new playable character that's voted into the game by you, the fans! 

Everything we develop as a result of this campaign will be released free to everybody, on all platforms for a limited time.

With your support and assistance, Lab Zero can continue its mission to make Skullgirls the best fighting game out there, and truly the only fighting game made by fighting game fans for fighting game fans.

 


Ben Birdland has seen a lot in his time, including the worst of the Grand War. But nothing was worse than what he saw as a beat cop in New Meridian. When he ran afoul of his crooked unit he was given a violent early retirement, and his broken body was left to spend the rest of its days in an iron lung.

That would have been the end of Ben’s story if it hadn't drawn the ears of the Anti-Skullgirl Labs. With little left to lose, he agreed to be rebuilt with their experimental procedures. Melded with the machinery that allows him to breathe and a powerful an array of pneumatic weaponry, he was reborn as “Big Band.”

Now a senior member of Lab 8, he’s become a father figure of sort to the younger ASG soldiers. A firm believer in their cause, he has stayed with the project through its controversies and still sees his place on the front lines against the Skullgirl. His technology may be dated, but he more than makes up for it with experience and fortissimo.

 


We’re preparing to start work on Big Band, but here’s what we can tell you about him so far.

Big Band’s massive mechanical body is heavily armed with pneumatic weapons capable of generating powerful blasts of pressurized air. As his name implies, woodwinds, brass and percussion instruments are his forte, so expect him to produce variously-sized horns, flutes and drums for his attacks. Defensively, you can expect him to make good use of that dusty coat.

For example, he might open his coat to fire a barrage of mute missiles from trumpet cannons, or do an elbow drop using a giant saxophone. We’d also like to experiment with the idea of making his combos musical, perhaps sounding like improvisational jazz as you chain his attacks together.


We’ll begin concepting out some of Big Band’s attacks soon, and will be sharing progress with everyone as he develops!

 

Squigly is the last "surviving" member of the Contiellos, a famous line of opera singers and long-time clients of the Medici family.

Fourteen years ago, tragedy befell Squigly’s family when the Medici mafia came close to obtaining the Skull Heart. During this incident she became one of the Skullgirl's undead minions. Once the threat had been defeated, only Squigly’s body was recovered, and she was buried in a service provided by Lorenzo himself.

Fast forward to the present: Bloody Marie's emergence has awoken Squigly from her long sleep. As part of the Skullgirl’s undead legion, Squigly should have become nothing more than a mindless servant of the pale maiden. However, thanks to the powers of her Parasite Leviathan, she is spared this fate.

Squigly is graceful, calm and well-mannered, but tough and determined to complete her mission. Her past experience with a Skullgirl gives her a unique perspective and a greater understanding of the situation over most.

Having been passed through the Contiello family for generations, Leviathan is refined and dotes on Squigly like her father and previous host did. This long familial history has made Squigly's bond with Leviathan deeper and more fundamental than that of most Parasites, and allows them to work harmoniously both in and out of battle like synchronized dance partners. Their unique circumstance also seems to have given them abilities beyond this world, as well.

 

Squigly's play style is pretty unique, both for Skullgirls and fighting games as a whole. She's a ranged stance character, but of course she has some unique touches all her own.

Leviathan can stretch, giving Squigly some far-ranging normal attacks - especially when she’s airborne. In addition to her normals and special attacks, she can access additional moves by assuming two different stances. While in each stance, she’ll pose and gain access to new attacks and movement options, and the longer she stays in a stance before executing a move the more powerful it will be.

Squigly’s jump is floaty, her dashes take some time to build momentum, and her normals can’t reach across the screen. So how does she get close enough to do damage? By singing.

As an opera star, when Squigly sings all eyes focus on her, forcibly shifting the game’s camera towards her. This naturally moves the edge of playfield with it, dragging her opponent towards her. No other game has a move like this, and it should open a number of interesting tactical possibilities, especially when used as an Ensemble Attack.

 

We know that seeking money for DLC like this is a big request, so we’re trying to make this as functionally similar to a pre-order as possible.

Once Squigly’s complete, she’ll be released via a patch and made available using a character unlock. The unlock will initially be released free to everyone on all platforms, and the price will be increased to $5 three months later for anyone who hasn't picked it up yet. So don’t worry - if you get it while it's free, it'll stay free forever.

If you collectively decide to fund one or more DLC characters, we’ll release them one at a time so the game continues to grow. The release plan would be the same: download free to everyone for a period of three months, and once that time has passed, the price of the character will be increased to $5. Once again, people that already have the character won't have to buy them later.

 

Last June, much of the Skullgirls development team was laid off. This had nothing to do with the game or its sales; Skullgirls financial support was simply cut off as a result of a costly legal battle that was strangling our publisher, Autumn Games. These ongoing legal difficulties kept Autumn from being able to continue its support for the game. We always had big plans for Skullgirls, and hoped to keep growing the game and its community with new characters and game updates, but without funding, these plans unfortunately had to wait.

While we’ve been able to continue working on the patch and have recently made progress on the PC version with Autumn’s help, neither of these has been able to pay our extremely talented and dedicated art staff. So, in many ways, this campaign is also a last-ditch effort to keep the Skullgirls team together, working on the game we love so.

 

No doubt you’ve noticed the surprisingly large sum we’re requesting to finish Squigly. Believe it or not, this is actually cheap for a fighting game character, and the only reason it’s even this cheap is because she’s already partially complete, and our staff have volunteered to take pay cuts to try and increase the odds of meeting our goal.

For comparison, Skullgirls' budget was around $1.7 million and, since Filia was complete at the time of signing, that covered production of the last seven characters.

Here’s the breakdown of how the money will be spent:

$48,000: Staff Salaries - 8 people for 10 weeks

$30,000: Animation and Clean-up Contracting

 $4,000: Voice recording

 $2,000: Hit-box Contracting

 $5,000: Audio Implementation Contracting

$20,000: QA Testing

$10,000: 1st Party Certification

$10,500: IndieGoGo and Payment Processing Fees

$20,500: Manufacturing and Shipping Physical Rewards

 

Should anything come in cheaper than expected or we can get the 1st-party submission fees waived, we will figure out something productive to do with that extra money, such as adding taunts or additional intro, win and lose animations.

This is a “fixed funding” campaign, meaning that if we don’t meet our goal, all contributions will be refunded: since we can’t complete Squigly without the full amount, there’s no point in keeping the money if we don't reach it.

One final note: IndieGoGo will deliver the first dollop of cash as soon as we meet our first funding goal of $150,000. So that means the sooner we reach that goal, the sooner we can get started on Squigly, the sooner we can show you progress, and the sooner we can release her. So if you intend to contribute, please do so at your earliest possible convenience!

 

So who are the eight members of Lab Zero, and what are they doing, anyway?

  • Mike Zaimont - Design Director
  • Alex Ahad - Creative/Art Director
  • Mariel Cartwright - Lead Animator
  • Richard Suh - Lead Clean-up Artist
  • Jonathan Kim - Senior Animator
  • Earl Gertwagen - Designer
  • Brian Jun - Clean-up Assistant / Associate Art Producer
  • Peter Bartholow - CEO / Producer

In addition to the eight core team members, your money will help pay our amazing friends and contractors:

  • Willy Hwang - Environmental Artist
  • Michiru Yamane - Composer
  • Vincent Diamante - Audio Engineer / Implenter
  • Cristina Vee - Voice Director
  • Brady Hartel - UI / Graphic Designer

In addition to the above, we’ll be working with innumerable animation and clean-up contractors, who we’ll begin sending assignments to shortly.

 

We’d like to keep Skullgirls growing as long as possible, so here are what we’d like to do if we manage to exceed our initial goal.

FUNDED! - $175,000: Squigly Stage and Story Mode

If we manage to raise $175,000, we’ll release Squigly’s story mode and a new stage. Find out how this ghost from New Meridian’s past will affect its future!

The new stage will, of course, feature an all-new track from Michiru Yamane.

 

 

FUNDED! - $375,000: Big Band

If we manage to raise $375,000, we’ll create Big Band, Skullgirls first and most-requested male character.

Why is Big Band $200,000 instead of $150,000? Because we haven’t even begun to work on him, meaning he’s going to need at least an extra month of development time, as well as extra money to cover the additional rewards needed to fund him.

We’ll reveal more about Big Band if we manage to fund Squigly.

 

FUNDED! - $400,000: Big Band Stage and Story Mode

If we manage to raise $400,000, we’ll release Big Band’s story mode and a new stage, telling the story of a grizzled veteran tackling a new threat.

The new stage will, of course, feature an all-new track from Michiru Yamane.

 

FUNDED! - $600,000: Mysterious Character By Fan Vote

If we somehow manage to raise $600,000, as soon as we regain our composure we’ll create a third character, voted on by the community.

To spur you towards this goal, here’s a line-up of all the mysterious characters Alex would like to make for Skullgirls. He initially envisioned this roster filling out three full games, but has agreed to pull the curtain back a bit to garner interest in the game’s future cast and story.

 

Read Character profiles here!


For every $20000 we raise, we’ll reveal one character and, once the bar is full, we’ll have completed this goal and all of those characters will be eligible for the vote.

 

FUNDED! - $625,000: Mysterious Character Stage and Story Mode

If we manage to raise $625,000, we’ll release a story mode and a new stage along with the Mysterious Third Character.

Like the others, the new stage will, of course, feature an all-new track from Michiru Yamane.

 

FUNDED! - $725,000: Playable Robo-Fortune

If we manage to raise $725,000, we’ll upgrade the Robo-Fortune voice pack into a full, playable remix character!

Robo-Fortune would obviously have a lot of animations in common with Ms. Fortune, but an all-new play-style, as well as other touches to make her her own character.

 

FUNDED! - $750,000: Playable Robo-Fortune

If we manage to raise $750,000, we’ll release a new stage and story mode for Robo-Fortune!

Like the others, the new stage will, of course, feature an all-new track from Michiru Yamane.

 

FUNDED! - $825,000: 2nd Mysterious Character

If we manage to raise $825,000, we’ll create a second Mysterious Character based on the results of the fan vote!

 

$850,000: 2nd Mysterious Character Stage and Story Mode

If we manage to raise $855,000, we’ll release a story mode and a new stage along with the 2nd Mysterious Character.

Like the others, the new stage will, of course, feature an all-new track from Michiru Yamane.

 

 

In addition to the stretch goals above, our amazing voice actors have offered to donate free DLC voice packs if we meet the following goals!

  • FUNDED! $250,000: "Republican Double" by Kaiji Tang
  • FUNDED! $350,000: "Robo-Fortune" by Kimlinh Tran
  • FUNDED! $400,000: Female Announcer by Cristina Vee
  • FUNDED! $450,000: "Salty Parasoul" by Erin Fitzgerald
  • FUNDED! $500,000: "Drunk Commentator" by Joshua Tomar
  • FUNDED! $550,000: "Valley Girl Painwheel" by Danielle McRae
  • FUNDED! $600,000: "Saxploitation" by Rich Brown
  • FUNDED! $650,000: "Anime Peacock" by Sarah Williams
  • FUNDED! $700,000: "Real Soviet Announcer" by MikeZ
  • FUNDED! $725,000: Mane6 will get the Skullgirls engine to use, free!

So if you want these hilarious voice packs to happen, keep contributing!

 

Of course this wouldn’t be a crowdfunding effort without goodies to help motivate you to contribute. Here’s a run-down all of the individual rewards we’re offering.
Reward Wallpaper

Our excellent UI artist and graphic designer, Brady Hartel, will make some nifty wallpapers to adorn your PC’s desktop with. 

A digital copy of the Skullgirls Original Soundtrack, including any new tracks that arise from any new stages that are created.

Secure a download code for the forthcoming PC release, get exclusive beta access and DLC forum access!

 

Our friends at Marvelous AQL have offered to give us as many codes as we need for the excellent Half Minute Hero to support our fundraising effort!

An exclusive poster with an all-new piece of art. What will it be of? That all depends on how many characters we fund.

A set of exclusive, high-quality postcards to collect and display. One postcard for each member of the Skullgirls cast, including any new characters we fund here!

A digital version of Alex Ahad’s original Skullgirls sketchbook, filled to the brim with the original Skullgirls concept art from before the game went into production! 

An exclusive T-shirt with a stylish, simplistic design in line with the Evo 2012 T-shirts we released through BrokenTier.

What that stylish design is all depends on how many characters we fund.

A comprehensive, high-resolution Skullgirls digital art collection, including:

    • Character concepts
    • Movie posters
    • Frame dumps

Want to design your own Skullgirls custom stick art? Want to pore over every frame for inspiration for your own art? Either way, this will be an invaluable resource. 

An exclusive, physical CD release of the Skullgirls Original Soundtrack. Space permitting, this will also include any new tracks that result from this campaign.

A unique, postcard-sized, black and white doodle by one of the Skullgirls artists to have and cherish always.

We’re going to be making a lot of these, so what’s in your doodle will essentially be random.

Our amazing voice actresses have once again offered to record a voicemail greeting or other short audio message of your choosing, delivered as an MP3 file. 

A larger, commissioned black and white sketch by a Skullgirls artist. Tell us what you want to see, and we’ll draw it!

Preferably your request will be Skullgirls-related, but we’re open to other suggestions, too.

Spend an hour on Skype talking to the Skullgirls team member of your choice.

Want to dig deeper into Skullgirls’ story and art? Choose Alex.

Want to learn about game design and programming? Choose MikeZ.

Want to learn about animation or get art critiques? Choose Mariel, Jon or Rich.

There are plenty of other possibilities!

Work with the Skullgirls team to design an all-new palette for the character of your choice, which will be released free to everyone. 

Commission a full-color, high resolution piece of art, perfect for printing and framing or putting on your custom fight stick!

 

A unique animation cel-style print of the frame of your choice

    • Each frame will only be printed once
    • First come, first serve
    • Select a printed background of your choice
    • Select a palette of your choice
    • Framed
    • Individually numbered
    • Signed by the team

 

Send us a picture of you or your character, and our art team will work with you to adapt it to Skullgirls’ art style and immortalize it as a background NPC in a stage.

 

 

And here’s how these rewards will be bundled.

Normal Tiers

 

Think of this as a pre-order, and you’ll get some exclusive desktop wallpapers as your pre-order bonus!

 

Think of this as a deluxe pre-order with cheese.

Get all of the above, plus a digital copy of the Skullgirls Original Soundtrack!

 

Everything above, plus...

  • A Steam code for the PC/Linux release
  • Exclusive PC beta access
  • DLC forum access
  • A “Backer” title in the Contributors Credits 

 

 Everything above, plus...

  • An exclusive Character Poster from Sanshee
  • Digital Sketch Book
  • A bonus Steam code for Marvelous AQL’s excellent Half Minute Hero
  • A “Contributor” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything above, plus...

  • Exclusive Postcard Set
  • Exclusive character T-Shirt
  • Digital Art Compendium
  • A “Supporter” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything above, plus...

  • Limited CD edition of the Skullgirls Original Soundtrack
  • A one-of-a-kind, random postcard-sized sketch by one of our amazing artists
  • A “Booster” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

A special digital-only tier, requested by some international folks and others!

Includes the following digital items:

  • Exclusive Wallpapers
  • Digital Soundtrack
  • Steam PC Code / Beta Access / DLC Forum Access
  • Digital Sketchbook
  • Digital Art Compendium
  • A bonus Steam code for Marvelous AQL’s excellent Half Minute Hero
  • A “Well-wisher” title in the Contributors Credits

 

Custom Tiers

Everything in the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • One of the following Skullgirls voice actresses will record a voicemail for you
    • Filia - Christine Marie Cabanos (limit 10)
    • Peacock - Sarah Williams (limit 10)
    • Parasoul - Erin Fitzgerald (limit 10)
    • Ms. Fortune - Kimlinh Tran (limit 10)
    • Valentine - Laura Post (Limit 10)
    • Marie - Kira Buckland (Limit 10)
    • Cerebella - Cristina Valenzuela (limit 20)
  • An “Advocate” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything in the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • A larger custom sketch by one of the Skullgirls artists
  • An “Ally” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything from the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • An hour with a team member of your choice over Skype
  • An "Accomplice” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything in the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • Work with the team to create a custom palette for a character of your choice (limit 1 per character)
  • A “Benefactor” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

Everything in the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • A Skullgirls artist will create a custom, high-res piece of full color digital art for you, perfect for framing or a custom fight stick
  • A “Patron” title in the Contributors Credits!


For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything in the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • A unique animation cel-style print, framed, signed and numbered
  • A “Patron of the Arts” title in the Contributors Credits!


For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything from the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • Work with the Skullgirls team to put you or your character in a stage
  • A “Patron Saint” title in the Contributors Credits

For international orders, please add an additional $8 to your contribution.

 

Everything from the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • All Custom rewards
  • An "Angel” title in the Contributors Credits

 

Everything from the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • All Custom rewards
  • A custom engraved FoeHammer dual-mod fight stick, designed by the Skullgirls team!
  • An "Archangel” title in the Contributors Credits

 

Everything from the $150 Booster set, plus...

  • All Custom rewards
  • A custom engraved FoeHammer dual-mod fight stick, designed by the Skullgirls team!
  • A trip to Evo 2013 
    • Airfare - Continental United States only
    • Three nights in the Paris Hotel
    • Get dinner with and hang out with the Skullgirls team
  • A "Divinity” title in the Contributors Credits

 

The more noise we make, the more money we’ll raise, and the more likely this campaign will keep Skullgirls and its community growing.

To incentivize you to get all of your friends and neighbors to join in on the fun, we’re putting up a one-of-a-kind custom dual-modded fighting stick from FoeHammer on the line. What’s actually on the stick will depend on what we accomplish here, but you can rest assured that it will be awesome.

We’ll be awarding this stick to whoever brings the most contributions in using IndieGoGo’s sharing tools. So even if you can’t afford to contribute yourself, you can still win this stick if you manage to shepherd in the most money through your own connections and campaigning.

If you can’t contribute and want to go for the stick, just be sure to create an IndieGoGo account and use their tools!

 


Since the game’s release, the Skullgirls team has been truly inspired by the drive, support and, most of all, patience of our amazing community. It’s because of you that we’ve soldiered on through the myriad setbacks that have faced our team, and we will continue to fight for you and make Skullgirls the best fighting game it can be.

Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll consider investing in the future of Skullgirls. With your help, we can continue to realize the game’s full potential.

Sincerely,
Lab Zero Games

 

Skullgirls is a fast-paced 2D fighting game developed by Lab Zero Games and published by Autumn Games.

With feature-quality hand-drawn 2D animation lead by Alex “o_8” Ahad and balanced gameplay designed by fighting game champ Mike “MikeZ” Zaimont, Skullgirls draws on the best features the fighting genre has to offer while offering numerous innovations of its own. It’s designed to be a tournament-grade fighter but remains approachable and engaging for the casual player.

Skullgirls is currently available on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace, and is coming to PC this summer.

 

Features

  • Skullgirls features the most frames of animation per character of any fighting game, hand-drawn at high resolution and enhanced by real-time lighting courtesy of a powerful 3D engine

  • Classic six-button play gives characters a huge variety of attacks and special moves

  • With the Variable Tag Battle system, players can pit mismatched teams of one, two or three characters against one another

  • Custom Ensemble Attacks let you outfit your team with a huge variety of attacks for nearly endless strategic possibilities

  • A robust anti-infinite combo system keeps competitive play free of abusive tactics

  • Robust tutorials and an AI designed to teach eases new players into the traditionally intimidating fighting game genre and helps you improve from there

  • Official GGPO netcode ensures lag-free fighting online, even in international matches

  • A stunning soundtrack by Castlevania: Symphony of the Night composer Michiru Yamane draws you into the game’s unique “Dark Deco” world

For more information, visit the Official Skullgirls website.

 

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