"A Frog's Tale" is a video game idea/story/world I've been working on for the last ~2 years. I've commissioned the very best visual illustrators and pixel artists I could find to craft and create a truly professional interactive experience oozing with character. I've also written a large part of the game's soundtrack already, with many theme songs for characters and locations ready to go.
The gameplay is a mesh between traditional 2D Zelda games and the Mario RPG series (Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi). The game is presented in a top-down perspective with beautiful pixel art graphics inspired by classics from the 16-bit era. There is a strong emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving outside of battle, with a level of freedom and interaction rarely seen in the RPG genre. Enemy encounters lead to classic turn-based RPG battles, but what sets "A Frog’s Tale" apart is a unique twist to the combat system involving action commands synced to the rhythm of the music.
Sadly, earlier this year my father passed away unexpectedly. Video games were something he and I shared together when I was a young child, and they've been a huge part of my life ever since. I was very excited to share my game "A Frog's Tale" with my dad, as there were many things about it that I knew he would have enjoyed. One of my earliest memories with him was going frog hunting on the golf course (we let the frogs go of course).
Shortly after he passed I decided to take this project a lot more seriously and make sure that it be completed into something special that lasts the test of time, in his honor. Something that he would be proud of. The story took a shift in tone and now has the main character dealing with the sudden loss of his father, trying to find out what happened to him, and ultimately saying the final goodbye he never got to say. Norman meets a lovable cast of companions along the way and gets swept up in an epic journey to save the world of Amphibia from a cosmic evil.
Recently I've partnered with indie game development studio Cathar Games to help with the technology and design to make the game happen. They are experienced at developing games from early stages all the way through to release and are confident in the potential success of "A Frog's Tale".
"When AJ got in touch with us and showed how much energy had been put into his game, and the reasons for his tireless motivation, we knew this was a project we just had to be a part of. Cathar Games' mission revolves around making GREAT games (because, let's be honest, 'good' doesn't even cut it) and A Frog's Tale has memorable written all over!"
- Michel Mony, Cathar Games
Our team is aiming to have a playable build in one year, at which point we will pitch to publishers or start a Kickstarter campaign to further fund development of the game through to release.
So far, we've already raised $15,000 to jump start production. An additional $5,000 is all we need to guarantee we can hit our goals and maintain momentum through to our estimated Kickstarter campaign launch date. This would allow more hours to be worked on the game, and thus lead to a higher quality demo.
"A Frog's Tale" means more to me than anything else I've ever done. I've spent so much time and money to get where we are currently at. More than anything in my life, I want to see this game get finished the proper way and make it to release.
It's been my dream since childhood to make the video game I've always wanted to play, and now I have that chance. I feel incredibly fortunate that the pieces have fallen into place so far to allow any of this to happen.
Asking for money is the last thing I ever want to do, but this project means too much for me to not try. If you are willing to contribute to make my dream game happen, there's nothing I can do that could adequately express how thankful I am. No matter how small the donation, I will put your name in the credits as a special thank you.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. With your help, "A Frog's Tale" will be in prime position to flourish into an amazing video game experience.
AJ NORMAN (me) - Creative Director, Music Composer, Sound Engineer (https://twitter.com/NRMNmusic)
I have over 10 years experience in music production, mixing, and mastering, with a degree in audio engineering. I primarily focus on original electronic music but have recently began to dabble in EDM video game remixes and composing original video game music. A Frog's Tale started over two years ago as an experiment to build my video game music portfolio but evolved into a full on video game project. I'm handling most of the world building, story writing, character concepts, and game design myself, with some help brainstorming from close friends.
I'm also a huge video game collector and avid RPG nerd. Some of my favorite games include Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG, the Legend of Zelda, and Golden Sun, which have all heavily influenced this project.
CHERI - Illustration, Character Design (https://twitter.com/bonsaisonly)
I found Cheri on Twitter after searching FOREVER for the right art style to fit the vision for my game. Everything about her art appeals to me so much, from the lush color choice to the emotional character expressions. I described my characters and gave Cheri some rough references to go off and she has absolutely nailed everything I've thrown at her. So much of the style of "A Frog's Tale" can be credited to Cheri.
Cheri is a big fan of Scott Pilgrim, Sanrio, vocaloid and the early 2000s aesthetic in games and art. Some of her favorite games include BanG Dream!, the Elder Scrolls series, and Animal Crossing. She's currently working on a horror visual novel called "From the Earth".
THOMAS LEAN - Pixel Art (https://twitter.com/ThomasLean)
Thomas is a pixel artist from Paris, France, and teaches pixel art at various locations. I had commissioned a few different pixel artists before stumbling upon Thomas on Twitter, but knew right away when I saw his work that he was the one for the project. His buttery fluid animations immediately caught my eye. He completely understood my vision and was able to translate our art style into the perfect pixel art style for the game. Thomas is also a huge fan of corgis.
MICHEL MONY, Cathar Games:
With over a decade occupying strategic positions in key studios (including Ubisoft), Michel has helped businesses grow and pivot. Credited in over 80 projects to date, having contributed in various capacities.
"I made games before the internet (scary!) and tried to remain relevant by joining the industry. After joining Ubisoft and a few top local studios, I turned a ~10 years freelancing career into what would later become Cathar Games. I strive to demonstrate that it’s ok to be a jack-of-all-trades, and so far, seems I might be right!"
EMMANUEL LÉGARÉ, Cathar Games
Emmanuel is a skilled analytical individual with a broad skillset ranging from programming, business to creative. He’s highly resourceful and ambitious yet brings balance to our team. He’s been involved with multiple projects of wildly varying scope and has a knack for game feel.
PIERRE-ALEXANDRE LECLERC, Cathar Games
PAL is the swiss army knife of development having an innate ability to adapt to change on a whim. He’s a fullstack developer that genuinely loves code. He’s been in both managerial and development positions on top projects with established clients from across the globe and he’s been involved with most platforms. He also teaches Game Design at the Limoilou College.
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