June 21st: A Message on the National Day of Greenland (Nunatta Ullua)

Today is the National Day of Greenland, and the first time I’m celebrating Nunatta Ullua while my dream game is, at long last, in the works!

Since 2013, when I discovered Greenlandic Culture and West Greenlandic thanks to looking at travel books in the Woodbridge Town Library, I began a journey that proceeded to change the way I look at everything.

The music, TV shows, films and documentaries are all infused with an extraordinary sense of humanity and humility, as well as the understanding that despite the fact that we have smartphones and the ability to shape nature, the human race is not nearly as powerful as we ever believe it to be.

I’ve sampled music from over sixty countries. I’ve said it too many times and I’ll say it again: Greenland has the best popular music in the world, bar none.

The works of composers and visionaries such as Nanook, Rasmus Lyberth, Sume, Siissisoq and of course Marc Fussing Rosbach (the primary music composer of “Kaverini: Nuuk Adventures”‘s soundtrack to boot!) , among way too many others to list, never fail to touch me. Never could a musical canon be so varied, with the most powerful tear-jerkers and songs of realizing the joy and novelty of life.

And I haven’t even touched on the many facets of the culture portrayed in other works, including children’s shows, horror films, inspirational short films and comedy.

I could have chosen many other places to set my first-ever video game in the series. I couldn’t be happier that I made that choice with Kalaallit Nunaat, a land that bears a culture that touches upon all of our questions and conundrums about what it is to live in 2017 and beyond.

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June 10, 2013: The Day I Began Putting Sketches of a “Mystery Game” to Paper

Four years ago today, I was inspired by the possibility that I could bring my dream game into existence. And the one thing I needed at that time, before all else, were ideas.

I put to paper a list of things that I wanted in a game, including infinite playable characters, no violence, and a possibility to explore the many places I hold dear to my heart that exist within our world.

Beforehand, however, inspired by RPG’s in general, and having been thrust into country after country one year after the other for nearly four years, I had seen my life as that of a confused and curious protagonist of a game. I wondered what it would be like instead of, having to go classes every day or set up lesson plans for Introductory Yiddish for Kids, I would be able to fantastically interact with historical characters, mythical beasts, and thereby I wondered what every single city I visited would be if I were visiting it in a video game instead of real life.

The Kaverini Series is a testament to that vision, one that promises to bring the warmth and light of the many flavors of humanity to your table, your phone and your computers.

I never thought that I would have developed my vision as far as I did. I thought it would forever sit in my notes, not having been attended to, and having gone the way of the many other projects I let “sleep”.

“Kaverini: Nuuk Adventures” is happening, albeit with a lot of obstacles in the way. No doubt there will be many more, but here I am, telling you to bring your visions to life in any way you can. Conformity and fear can’t win in today’s world, and I know that none of you really want that sort of life for yourselves.

And it all begins with writing down ideas, nourished by your exploratory spirits, and having the willpower to bring it to life.

Here’s to your nourished dreams,

Jared Joseph Gimbel

June 10, 2017

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Kaverini Staff Member Spotlight: Andrew Struck-Marcell

Kaverini Staff Member Spotlight: Andrew Struck-Marcell

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Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be talking with various people contributing to the upcoming “Kaverini: Nuuk Adventures”! Andrew Struck-Marcell, an arranger of several tracks in the soundtrack, speaks about the wonders of sound, music, JRPG’s, virtual reality horror games, and heavy advice for our times!

 

  1. Seems that you are contributing to a lot of interesting and varied games! Describe some of them!

One is a VR Horror game/experience where you try to survive being trapped in a chair within a creepy room, another I might be working on soon is a VR shooter involving your favorite holiday characters.

  1. How did your career start and what inspired it?

I started writing music in my teens because, I suppose, it was the thing I enjoyed, or that spoke to me, the most.

  1. What musical pieces have you composed or arranged that you have been the most proud of?

I have a concert piece for two percussionists in which I really like the music, the concept, and the movement choreography I had the percussionists do.

  1. What are some of your most profound musical influences?

From Game music, the famous 16-bit JRPGs from Squaresoft and the Mother games. From concert music, Feldman, Takemitsu. From Indian classical music, Nikhil Banerjee.

  1. What are some of your favorite video games or software programs in general?

Above noted JRPGs. My digital audio workstation of choice is Logic; I also love Sound Hack for some cool, very specific processing it can do.

  1. If someone were to go down your career path, what advice would you give them?

Nurture your connections early and regularly, and always be making things.

  1. What’s something that you’d like to share about yourself that not many people know?

Some of my favorite sounds are crowd noises. I love the sound of live sporting events.

  1. Any advice for future generations, generally speaking?

We’re tribalistic, but that also means we need each other.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Have a look at Andrew’s work here: https://soundcloud.com/andrewstruck-marcell

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How to Create Your Character in “Kaverini: Nuuk Adventures”

How many of you have been confused by complicated character creation systems?

Allow me to introduce you to something simpler that you can enjoy!

Let me tell you how you create your own character in “Kaverini: Nuuk Adventures” and the other future entries in the mobile series! If you’d like to find more about the mobile adventures, click here!

If you donate, you could possibly even end up with one of the cute characters on merchandise of your choosing!

Anyhow, let’s get you excited…

 

  • You choose your character

 

Your character is represented by a simple sprite that has some animations in it. Here are some of the playable character sprites featured in the trailer.

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If you don’t like any of the twenty total characters that are on offer, or if you would prefer to play as any of the NPC sprites that fit, you are welcome to use those instead by hacking into the phone and creating your own character in the folder!

(Be careful to use blank backgrounds as opposed to white ones, however! Tutorials will be included in the final game!)

 

  • You then pick one of the following abilities

 

Your ability stays with you throughout the rest of the game, and there are ways to get additional abilities, but they are quite difficult!

The abilities are as follows:

 

Sensitive – Your character will take and deal double damage. Damage is referred to as “Schmerz” in the Kaverini series, referring to pain of any variety (although in your case, you won’t be violent, now, would you). Good for strategies that require stalling.

Insensitive – Your character will take and deal half Schmerz. Good if you like confrontations done quick.

Psychic –  Your character can look at all of the details of any Foe currently in a confrontation. What this means: certain foes are weak or resistant to certain techniques, and may have special abilities and techniques that you can only know about by confronting them. In this case, you can know what all of these details are and can plan accordingly. Good for strategizing.

Confidence – The first technique in any confrontation that would otherwise harm your character does nothing at all instead. Free turn!

Chutzpah – The first technique that deals Schmerz to your character causes the source of that technique to take half that amount of Schmerz. If you’re afraid of big nasty monsters, take this ability.

Lagom– Techniques executed by your character can have their Schmerz divided among the adversaries at the discretion of its controller, instead of it all being allotted to one adversary. So if you use a technique that deals 2 Schmerz, you can deal 1 Schmerz to each of two Foes instead. Use if you believe that confronting multiple foes is painful and should be avoided.

Focused – Your character gets 1 extra point to spend each time while levelling up. No benefit in confrontations, but will let you progress more quickly. More on leveling up below!

Passionate – If your character uses an emotional technique for the first time in a confrontation, that technique automatically triggers its special effect.

 

  • You write three things about your character.

 

So no matter what, you will have a character with some variety of story behind it! These facts will appear on the passport (which serves as the inventory, character sheet, and other things). Do not worry, you CANNOT lose your passport in the game!

 

  • You choose your emotional techniques.

 

You start with three emotional techniques at level 1. The highest they can go is level 10. There are fourteen different techniques, which you can read about here. Each one has a different special effect tied to it: (https://kaverini.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/introducing-the-emotions/)

The techniques: (1) get stronger with your level, (2) determine some aspects of gameplay outside of the confrontation system and (3) you can level them up to not only deal more Schmerz, but ALSO to increase the chances that their special effect will activate!

Keep in mind that you CANNOT activate the same technique’s special effect twice in a row. (This was in part so that some technique could not shut down foes permanently when used continuously).

 

  • Determine HP, E and H

 

HP = Hit Points

E – Emotion (you always deal extra Schmerz depending on how high your “E” is)

H – Heart (Foes deal you less Schmerz depending on how high your “H” is)

 

Your HP starts at 20, and your E and H both at 0. You level them up by leveling up your character, whereupon you get a number of points equal to your new level.

 

You spend those points:

  • To increase your HP
  • To increase your E
  • To increase your H
  • To get new levels in emotional techniques.

To level up an emotional technique, you need to spend an amount of points equal to the new level. So leveling up a Level 1 Comic Silly technique to level 2 would cost 2 points, a Cheer technique from level 9 to level 10 would cost 10 points.

You can also activate additional emotional technique ladders for 1 point each.

You start the game at level 1 (Level 0, technically, and then you acquire level 1 upon completing the character creation process). You can spend that one point as you wish, either getting an extra hit point, +1 E, +1 H, or getting a fourth emotional technique ladder as a starting character!

Overall, the Emotional Technique system does serve to aid character development as well as a touch of your own personal flair in which you can hone your character to a specific play style!

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Announcing: Kaverini Nuuk Adventures!

NOTE: You can now donate to the campaign! Find out more here!

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21 June 2016

a new era is arriving

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A World Beyond My Skin

Yesterday was Polish Constitution Day, and it was the scheduled release date for the Krakow Adventure Box.

That said, fate had other plans when a number of factors happened that are putting the development of “Kaverini” for other media to the forefront.

The bad news: the Krakow and PNG adventure boxes will be on hold in their development for the next few months or so.

The good news is … well … we’ll just have to wait and see, now, don’t we? But suffice it to say, it will surprise all of you! In the best of ways!

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FAQ: Upcoming Kaverini Krakow Adventure Box

Krakow? What’s there to see?

Castles, trumpets, holy places, empty chairs, sadness, mirth, grandeur, awe and delicious food…everything a tourist place should be! Look, this page isn’t supposed to be a brochure. If you’re expecting to learn more about Polish culture, buy the box when it comes out. It’ll answer a significant amount of your questions.

Cool! Why did you pick it?

Right out of college I, like many others, got a lot of job rejections. During Hurricane Irene in August 2011 I was in a library in a small Connecticut town, the only place for a long while that had any type of electricity.

One fine afternoon I got news that I had been accepted into an educational Program in Krakow. Coming from a Jewish family, I heard one too many rumors about it being a very xenophobic and hateful place. In my experience, none of it had any inch of truth in the least.

Being the root of my entire professional development, I owe the city of Krakow something, as well as Polish culture in general. (I say this as if I haven’t been a walking advertisement for the Polish tourist board ever since I adjusted myself to life in Poland).

Krakow, consider this your love letter. And I’m sorry in advance if it can’t contain everything.

Heard a thing or two about the football rivalry in Krakow, and I wondered if …

No.

Will Schindler be featured at all?

Considered it, but after a while I really thought that effort would be better spent portraying other aspects of what Krakow is and was. “Schindler’s List” has significant repute in its own right. The places where it was filmed are now filled with so many tourists during high season that you can barely walk through them. This box will go elsewhere.

On this note, don’t expect WWII and communism to be central to the box’s plot.

That Salt Mine I’ve heard so much about …

Maybe.

Will (INSERT POLITICIAN’S NAME HERE) be featured in the…?

Certainly not by name, no. Really, really, REALLY don’t count on it. “Kaverini” is not supposed to be divisive, it is supposed to celebrate cultures and the world.

What famous Poles will be featured in the box?

It’s a SECRET! Okay, I’ll tell you this much. Enough so that I needed to include a card on how to pronounce their names.

Dragon of Krakow

 

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Austin Adventure Box Released!

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As a gift to the world for the day that comes once every four years, it is my pleasure to show you the box that has danced into the world at long last!

For those curious, the left-side image is the University Tower, and on the right you can see a pool of turtles, which is a familiar sight to anyone who has ever visited the city and hopped around the educational district.

The box will include your best-known Texan heroes (including the namesake of the box), as well as the standard American diet (which will have better effects on your characters in the game then the real things would on your real-life body), and certainly not least, Gerbils, Turtles and…well, a setting that has no artwork at all, you’ll have to get the box and find out what it is!

As I continue forward into developing the Krakow adventure box, I’ll have your questions about that answered. For those unaware, my first real position out of college was working as a museum translator and tour guide in Poland, so this game now returns to the place where my professional journey started!

Buy the Austin adventure box by clicking on the Product Catalogue above!

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Antarctica Reference Guide (Spoilers!)

(The spoiler can be found here: http://worldwhilecomics.deviantart.com/gallery/56853519/Kaverini-Antarctica-Spoiler)

 

Deception Island – That’s how it would appear on a map, top-down view.

Flat Stanley – “Jared Te Queremos” was a song written by my Spanish housemates in Poland. Dumb Bell (Vlaanderen) and Rogue Remote-Controlled Airplane (the first Kaverini Card I ever drew) both make their appearances in the background.

Gear Box – Five gears, five colors…well, if you know something about hobby gaming I’ll just…stop here…(okay, OKAY! Magic: the Gathering reference)

h@mm3R dooD – His brother from Belgium can be admired here. The professor of astronomy is a reference to Marhsall C. Johnson, the primary consultant for the “Austin” Adventure Box”

Ice Tongue – it’s actually an ice peninsula if you consulted the Internet. The art of this card? Took a different direction. And a predictable one.

Nathaniel Hawthorne = Yeah, that A is red for a reason.

The Apple Union – That was the year my parents got married.

Trouble Desk – Techniques reference a well-known song that I never wish I heard. That’s a Lemon on the computer instead of another fruit you probably expected.

Quiet Sector – That’s the “p” for “pianissimo”, familiar to musicians around the world, to the infinity power.

Vivianne – That hit song really exists. In a cold place somewhere. Can’t write anything more about it.

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