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Kari: stranded on the shores of Vanaheim

Kari: stranded on the shores of Vanaheim

Team Unmanagable
by Billy Becker, Bjorn Prins, Boyd Catsman, Chris van Dalfsen, Eleni Platnaris, Elke Lukkien, Evelien Picavet, Isa Raaijmakers, Janneke Bruijnes, Joey Jacobs, Linda Effinger, Lotte de Brabander, Luuk Ammerlaan, Manuel Sitompul, Marnix Kuijs, Menno Markus, Nick Snoeren, Noah ten Oever, Norbert van Hamond, Pelle Ladegaard, Rafaƫl Polman, Robin Schulenberg, Rozalie Craens, Sander Peters, Simon Renger, Sven de Wit, Thomas Franken, Valencio Hoffman, Zico Bakker, kimorizon, and teamunmanagable on 31 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

Explore mysterious lands after a magical storm strands you on the shore of Vanaheim. Seek out help from the gods inspired by Norse Mythology in a Singleplayer Combat-Free Adventure-Puzzle Game. A game about helping each other, Kari is developed by students from BUas Breda.

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Kari is a project created over the course of 28 weeks by the students at Breda University of Applied Sciences making up Team Unmanagable with the goal to create a complete game from concept to release. You get to play as Kari, a young viking girl who gets caught in a magical storm while sailing. Stranded on unknown shores, Kari must seek out the inhabitants of this strange land to get back home to her own world and home.

Enter an untamed world of otherworldly dangers and challenges, filled with figures from Norse mythology and the souls of those who have found their way to Vanaheim before you. Overcome the challenges the gods present to you in order to acquire the items you need to repair your boat, and complete quests for the souls that reside in Vanaheim.

Kari started out as a management survival game, the player managing resources they find in the world and crafting items to survive. As the development of the game progressed we leaned further and further into narrative and the adventure genre, incorporating the mechanics from the survival aspect of the game into our story.

Our main character Kari started out as a backpacking trader, travelling from village to village to sell wares and items she crafted and found on her road. As the concept and the game progress we fell in love with her and focused more and more on the aspect of a young girl forging her own way through the wild.

As we leaned away from realism and more towards the history and mythology of our setting, more and more magical ideas slipped into the game. Those then formed into gods. We chose some of the lesser known and used gods of the Norse mythology.

Kari is set in the world of Vanaheim, one of the nine worlds in the branches of the world tree Yggdrasil. Inspired by the tundra of Norway we went through several concepts and iterations of what the environment could look like. 

Working together with Kim Baaj, who created an amazing scatter tool for the project, we created our own interpretation of what the world of Vanaheim would look like.

Below is some of the concept art that inspired our environment.

Here you can see Kim's tool in action. Go to her profile Kimorizon to read more about it.

The environment art and level design were developed in parallel with each other, constantly adapting to each other. Below you can see the progress of one of our levels, going from the first gameplay focused concept to the final set dressed level.

Working with a custom database, Kari has over 16 quests comprised of over 500 lines of dialogue, leading Kari from the realm of friendly Njord all the way into the clutches of Ullr, the prideful god that caused the storm that originally got Kari washed onto the shores of Vanaheim.

Kari's journey is accompanied by beautiful music composed for this project, adding it's own kind of magic to the mystical world of Vanaheim.

Kari is currently still in progress, our first beta build releasing on steam in July 2020!

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