Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim announced

Jonathan Gustafsson of Ascension Games writes in to tell me about a new RPG they’re working on. Cornerstone: The Song of Tyrim is a 3D, open world Zelda-alike with cel-shaded graphics.

The premise:

You play as Tyrim a young viking boy , sailing from island to island in search of his fathers lost fleet, and a solution that can save his village from ruin.

“Tyrim”? Vikings? Hmmm. If you didn’t know better, you might be forgiven for thinking that this game is looking to ride Skyrim’s coattails. You’d be wrong, though.

Per the description, there’s sailing; the devs also say that they are aiming to reward exploration and allow nonlinear progression. In actuality, this game is being closely modeled on The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, though Cornerstone seeks to throw in a crafting system and a more detailed physics model for good measure. You can see the latter at work in their gameplay trailer:

Needless to say, the visual style is clearly inspired by Wind Waker as well, as well as certain enemies that are pretty clearly modeled on Darknuts. Character progression is in the Zelda mold too, with your character growing better by finding items rather than through accruing experience. Gustafsson states:

you will find runes in the world that will evolve things like speed, jump height or berserk. (similar to dishonored)

learning recipes in the crafting is also kind of character progression, except it helps you in different ways. you’ll find new recipes in the world will help the player get to new areas and such!

The devs claim to have been inspired in part by Dark Souls, in that Cornerstone borrows some of that game’s combat mechanics. I’m not seeing it, frankly, but it might just be too early in development to really show. At any rate, Wind Waker is quite exciting enough a source of inspiration all on its own for my taste.

Cornerstone is on Kickstarter, where it is already one-third of the way to hitting its $30,000 funding goal. (I am assured that the game will not be canceled if it doesn’t meet its funding goal–it will be slowed down significantly, though.)

Cornerstone is planned for release on PC, Mac and Linux; the release date is still up in the air, but the Kickstarter rewards estimates are all pegged in the second half of 2014, so that might give us some broad indication of the time frame they’re shooting for.

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