Untitled Kinoko game

Game description

Explore worlds, overcome puzzles and enemies, and confront the very worst villains that space has to offer as you jet across the galaxy as Kinoko and his friends in this action-packed, metroidvania-style adventure – and the first ever video game from the team behind ‘Kinoko and the Cult of Galaxy’!

Kinoko is a kuparkuke from the planet Fungaia. When he’s suddenly thrust into space, he and his best friend Neemal must fight their way through a succession of planets, each one more grim and foreboding than the last. As they do this they’ll encounter vicious enemies, brutal puzzles and bosses who all seem to want them dead. At the same time, they’ll slowly unravel the secrets behind the evil Event Horizon, a sinister cult devoted to Blackhole, god of destruction.

But it’s not all doom and gloom in space, and Kinoko will be joined on his travels into the great unknown by the starsprites – mysterious creatures which, for some reason, seem strangely drawn to our happy yellow kuparkuke…

Studio description

Separately, we are Chelsey and James, an artist/animator, and a developer respectively – but together, we are o9 design, a small game studio living and working together in Birmingham, England, dedicated to our first major project, ‘Kinoko and the Cult of Galaxy’. Chelsey created Kinoko in 2011 before being joined by James in 2016. Since then we have worked on the project together, officially beginning work on our game in 2022.

Chelsey, artist and animator

Chelsey first came up with the idea of the Kinoko character way back in 2011 – ever since, she’s been continuing to develop him and introduce other characters for him to interact with. She’s our lead artist, in charge of setting the aesthetic for the entire project. On top of that, she’s also our character animator, and wholly responsible for the creation and design of all our characters. Her vision for the Kinoko project guides everything we do.

James, developer

James is the developer for the project, both for the game and the website. He’s been developing websites since 2005, and it’s been his biggest passion ever since. He’s since taken up game development too – because we had no one else to do it for us! As well as handling the development of the game and website, James also styles himself the project’s ‘loremaster’, being particularly interested in developing the lore of Kinoko’s world and the stories that take place within it.

Development screenshots

Here are some of the most recent development screenshots from the game. We’ll try to keep this section updated with fresh screenshots periodically. (Please note, everything you see here is subject to change!)

Development videos

Like the screenshots above, the following video demonstrates the current state of the game’s development (and is thus subject to change), although further videos can be found over on our YouTube channel.

Frequently asked questions

Who is Kinoko?

Kinoko is an original character first created by Chelsey in August 2011, inspired by classic gaming protagonists like Kirby, Mario, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Kinoko’s universe soon expanded to include the kuparkuke species, the world of Fungaia, and a wide range of villains for our yellow hero to face throughout 2013 and beyond.

Now, Kinoko is set to become the star and protagonist of his very own video game.

Explore the series to find out more about Kinoko and all our other characters, species, planets, and organisations.

What type of game is this going to be?

The game we’re making is a 2D, space-themed platformer – perhaps best-described as a metroidvania. The metroidvania-style of game features large interconnected maps for the player to explore, filled with enemies to defeat and challenges to overcome, with progression gated behind the things you’ll unlock along the way, like skills, abilities, and new gadgets.

Rather than producing one gigantic world for you to explore, as is often the way with metroidvania games, our plan is to develop five or six smaller ones. Each of these will be a separate planet with its own distinct identity, including different visual styles, enemy and obstacle types, and more. Other than the starting planet, Fungaia, we hope to take a mostly non-linear approach, so you’ll be able to make your own choices as to where you go and in what order.

Is this game a spiritual successor to [insert game]?

We’re often asked about what our game might be considered a ‘spiritual successor’ to.

We draw our influences from a wide range of sources, both retro and modern. As development goes on and the game takes shape, we expect you’ll pick up on influences from the likes of modern hits like ‘Hollow Knight’ and ‘Cuphead’, as well as iconic classics like ‘Crash Bandicoot’ and ‘Kirby and the Amazing Mirror’. Some of our influences will be less obvious. Ultimately, every game we’ve ever enjoyed will probably leave its mark in one way or another!

In general, though, we try to avoid making too many direct comparisons. We’re not trying to create the new Kirby here, or the new Klonoa. This game is all about Kinoko, and his character will be the main driving force behind whatever form it takes.

When will the game be released?

At the moment, it’s much too early to say when the game might be released. It has only been in active development since January 1st 2023, and since we’re only a team of two (one programmer, and one artist), we’re unable to work as quickly as some larger studios. Nevertheless, we’re comfortable with the size of our team the way it is, and we’re committed to completing and releasing our game in a timely fashion. (After all, this is not the only game we want to make!)

When we have more information about a release window, you’ll find it here.

Will there be a playable demo?

Whilst it’s too early to say for certain if there will be a playable demo, we’re open to the possibility of releasing a playable demo when the Fungaia section of the game is complete. Any such demo is likely to take the form of a closed beta, with access restricted to our dedicated, Discord community members.

What platforms will the game be released for?

It’s too early to say which platforms we’ll be able and eligible to release on, particularly since the hardware we’re playing our games on today might have been phased out by the time our own game is ready for release. As a minimum, our game will be released for Windows PC, and we’re particularly interested in making it available on Steam.

We do not anticipate Android or iOS releases.

How is the game being developed?

The game is being developed in the Godot game engine, with animations produced in Adobe Animate.

How can I follow the game’s progress?

We aim to update our blog at least once or twice a month with lengthy updates on our progress, making that an excellent place to catch up on what we’ve been doing. We go to a lot of effort to make our blog posts informative, covering not just the ‘whats’, but the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’, too.

Following our Twitter account is another excellent way to keep up-to-date with the game’s development. In addition to game updates we do post a lot of art and other Kinoko content here, so it’s not nearly as focused as the blog is, but it’s a great place to find out more about our world and any ways in which you can get involved.

Lastly, you’re also more than welcome to join the ‘Cult of Galaxy’ Discord server, where we’re online every day to talk with our loyal friends and supporters. As it’s a community server, we really enjoy it when other members share their own work and keep us up-to-date on their own projects. We think it’s a really cool place to hang out and chat, and if you’re interested in the game then it’s a great place to find out more, keep up-to-date, ask questions, and even offer your suggestions. We’d love to see you there.

How can I support the game?

There are a number of ways in which you can support our game’s development.

The quickest, easiest way to support our game’s development is simply by following us on Twitter and sharing our work. This helps us a tremendous amount by expanding our reach, introducing Kinoko and our game to users who may not have come across them otherwise. It might not sound like a lot, but you can be assured that every single like, retweet, and comment is very much appreciated.

If you’d like to support us financially, and have the means to do so, we have a Ko-fi account set up for that. Chelsey is continuing to take commissions for as long as her workload on the game permits, and every penny she earns from doing these commissions is funnelled into the game and its promotion. Any donations received through this channel are also very gratefully received, though we hope that you will take care of yourself before thinking about Kinoko. Times are tough, after all!

Are there any jobs going?

There will be soon, potentially! Whilst we’re a very small team with a very limited budget, we will require help from time-to-time, and right now we’re fast-approaching the point when we’re going to need a 2D environment artist. This will be a freelance position, but nevertheless a good opportunity to get involved and put your stamp on Kinoko and the Cult of Galaxy.

We can’t currently say when this will be happening, but when it does we’ll be putting up a job listing right here on our website, and also announcing it on social media. We’d like to hear from multiple environment artists to be able to compare portfolios and rates, but ultimately we’ll just be looking for one artist at this stage, and so anyone with the requisite skills will be encouraged to apply.

In general, recruitment will be slow. We’re currently operating on a minimal budget, making as much progress towards the game as we can before investing significant funds into the things we can’t do ourselves. Rest assured, when we have need to expand the team we will post any vacancies here on our website. We are not looking for free labour, and we will only ever offer paid opportunities.

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