Penny Blood: Hellbound Reveal

Yukikaze/STUDIO WILDROSE x Natsume Atari proudly announce Penny Blood: Hellbound

 Penny Blood: Hellbound is a roguelite companion title based in the Penny Blood world. It has been developed in the indie-spirit with Natsume Atari providing the core development and STUDIO WILDROSE creating the concept and leading the overall creative direction. It features:

・Play as the Hellhounders – the rival group of baddies that try to thwart Matthew and friends at their every turn in Penny Blood.

・Roguelike gameplay where each run provides a plethora of unlocks, power-ups, and new skills as you march forward towards the final confrontation.

・The Malice System where the more blood you spill, the more currency you earn for unlocks

・Blood spilt also allows for better mobility via “bloodsurfing” where you can unleash stronger momentum-based attacks and skill-based upgrades

・Strategize your run well by choosing the best pair of Hellhounders out of a total 6 selectable characters that you can swap between in real-time

・Music by Yoshitaka Hirota with guest composer Noriyuki Iwadare of Lunar and Grandia fame

・Reserve your copy now at the Double Kickstarter Backerkit store here

Closed Beta for backers launches December 14th on Steam and features around 10 hours of gameplay as well as an exclusive Closed Beta Backer Emblem only available for those who back during the Beta phase.

A Word from Matsuzo Machida

I’m sure many of you are surprised by the sudden announcement. Personally, I’m very excited now that we’ve finally reached this moment.

The truth is, we’ve had the idea for a companion game from the time when we first ran the Double Kickstarter campaign. As the producer of the campaign team explained, companion games are very meaningful products that allow us to answer the passion of all the backers and fans waiting for the main game while also preventing the excitement surrounding the IP from dwindling.

However, since making a companion game requires a separate cost and would cause people to worry that we creators would become too busy with multiple projects and not be able to give them all enough attention, we didn’t include it as a stretch goal in the campaign.

Looking back, I remember exactly how things were at the end of 2022. Just when we were about to give up on the idea, Natsume Atari contacted us and asked us if we’d be interested in making the roguelike game they were currently developing set within the Penny Blood IP.

The roguelike genre is one where the player goes through multiple runs in order to fully “clear” the game. While they’re different from JRPGs, they’re also popular around the world as well. It was possible for me to create a world and main characters that would fit that concept, so I gratefully accepted their offer.

Once actual production began on Penny Blood: Hellbound, the director Furukawa-san as well as the rest of the development staff began working on the game with a stunning amount of passion. And now, the fact that we’re able to reveal the fruits of their labor today is a very big step for both us as well as Penny Blood.

I hope you’re all excited to experience Penny Blood: Hellbound, a roguelike game where we unleash the Hellhounders, the villains of Penny Blood.

A Word from Takanori Furukawa (Game Director at Natsume Atari)

I’m so happy to be able to announce PENNY BLOOD: HELLBOUND to you all today.

This game is a companion game to PENNY BLOOD, and the entire team has worked very hard to make it a way for every player to enjoy the amazing world and charming characters of the PENNY BLOOD universe.

With Eiyuden Rising, we aimed to create a game that people who aren’t great at action games could still enjoy. Working on the development was a great learning experience for me, and I was also happy to see the finished product receive some praise. We also heavily focused on creating gameplay and action that feels good. I hope to use that experience to make this game embody the true fun of a roguelike action game as much as possible.

Natsume Atari has mainly focused on developing action games for some time, so we’ve always wanted to create a roguelike – a genre that’s popular all around the world. We’ve also been big fans of Machida-san for quite some time, so once the desire to create an exciting game with him grabbed our hearts, we took the liberty of contacting him.

Machida-san’s clear vision and burning passion serves as great stimulation for us, and the chemical reactions based on those things have caused lots of interesting ideas to pop into our heads. One of the most representative ideas would definitely be the “blood” motif which includes the bloodsurfing mechanic among several others.

As of now, we’re convinced that we’ll be able to deliver new excitement, revolutionary elements, and a whole chain reaction of surprises to you in a “roguelike action” form.

The entire team has poured our blood and hearts into this game, so we hope you’re excited for it, and we hope it moves you just as much as it’s moved us!

The Penny Blood Hellbound Roadmap

The main goal of releasing the game into Closed Beta now that we have enough content is to get as much feedback as possible from our most supportive fans–backers like you! There are two ways you can provide feedback. In the main menu you’ll find a link to a Google Form that asks some basic questions. We’ll also have a Closed Beta channel in Discord as a secondary feedback option. We’ll use your feedback to tweak the experience before we enter into Early Access some time in February 2024. Here’s a quick look at the current roadmap:

The Penny Blood: Hellbound FAQ

Q1) Why create a companion game?

A1) We talked with Natsume Atari who were fans of the IP. Other Kickstarters have released companion games so that backers have a title to play while they are waiting for the main game, and we thought it was a great idea.

Q2) Why did you wait until now to announce this title?

A2) We wanted to give Natsume Atari the chance to develop the core of the game and allow backers the chance to play the game sooner rather than waiting an extended period of time after announcing it.

Q3) Why isn’t this a JRPG?

A3) RPGs are asset heavy and quite expensive to produce. Besides, the main game is a JRPG, so why do the same thing twice? Natsume Atari excels at action games, so being able to present a different gameplay experience with the same IP of Penny Blood made more sense. Hopefully it will bring in new fans into the series too!

Q4) Are funds from the Kickstarter being used to develop this title?

A4) No. All funds from the original Kickstarter are being used on the main game: Penny Blood. This game, Penny Blood: Hellbound, is largely being developed through the sweat equity of Natsume Atari with directorial oversight by Yukikaze/Studio Wild Rose. This is only possible through indies helping indies.

Q5) Who is the publisher on this?

A5) It will be Natsume Atari. It’s great to work with another developer because the terms are fair. As we continue to talk with other publishers about Penny Blood, we have been told this game and hopefully its success will be seen as another reason why Penny Blood is a viable title.

Q6) Do I get any benefit for being a backer?

A6) Penny Blood: Hellbound is its own game. Since it still costs money to develop we need to ask backers to purchase it via the backer store for a discounted price. Any backer who purchases this via Backerkit will get a code to participate in the closed Backer Beta starting from December 14th.

Q7) When do non backers get a chance to play the game?

A7) Upon receiving feedback from backers playing the closed Backer Beta, we will adjust the game and plan to release it into Early Access. Many roguelikes have highly benefited from this kind of a release structure since it allows the developers to get initial feedback from the core fans and then get more feedback from non-fans as well to improve the game where possible. As we want to give all backers a value-add, the Early Access price will be slightly higher.

Backerkit Questions:

Q8) I purchased a premium reward but didn’t get asked for my name/pet/parting line/etc. When will that happen?

A8) We’ll reaching out to each E-mail individually some time in Feb-Mar 2024 to work with you on the contents of the premium reward.

Q9) When the title switches over to Early Access or PC Full Release will I have to buy it again?

A9) No, you will continue to be able to play the game as it continues through its development phases.

Q10) Will this be on consoles?

A10) We currently have no announcement about a console version.