Dashkin original logo

Original Dashkin logo.

Dashkin is a cancelled side-scrolling 2.5D platformer video game that was being developed by Adam Phillips and Kirk Sexton from around late 2016 or early 2017-mid 2018, set in the world of Brackenwood and centering on the character of Bitey who is the last of the Dashkin. The game is going to be a continuation of the animated short The Last of the Dashkin. The first part of the game, BrackenSack, was released on December 23, 2017 in early access on the official game website, and a Steam release was planned for mid-2018, and possibly the Nintendo Switch.

The game was being built and runs in Unreal Engine 4 and features 2D animated characters created in Toon Boom Harmony in a 3D world made in a painterly style. The game runs at 60 frames per second.[1]

The initial plan for Dashkin's was to publish the game in three portions or modes, a multiplayer football brawler called BrackenSack, a multiplayer racer and a singleplayer story-based adventure. BrackenSack was released, and the other game modes was going to follow subsequently, until the game's cancellation around mid-2018. The game features music composed by Lee Darkin-Miller.[2][3]

Around mid 2018 the game was cancelled. Phillips stated the reason for it as members of the development team drifting apart and having different visions for the game. He elaborated, saying that in the last months of development it became apparent to him that Sexton and the other few developers helping him develop the game did not wish to make the jump from the multiplayer mode to work on the single-player story mode, despite Phillips having built assets for it already.

An earlier attempt to produce the game was funded through Kickstarter, and was to be developed by Phillips and Sean McGree, however as their schedules did not line up well the game was eventually cancelled as well. A lot of the vision for the game has changed following that incident.

Plot Edit

Brackenwood is being invaded. Slowly but surely, the inky black outposts of the shadowy YuYu invaders are growing larger and larger, swallowing the land within them.

Bitey is the last of the Dashkin people. With tantalising clues to his past, a mysterious flying girl lures him through increasingly difficult obstacle courses, training him for a confrontation with the invaders.

Playing as Bitey, the player will visit different regions of Brackenwood, unlock his story and activate special powers needed to destroy YuYu outposts and ultimately, their nest.[4]

Gameplay Edit

Dashkin consists of time-trial challenges, so the object of the game is to overcome obstacles as quickly as possible. Unlocking the path through the game is achieved by unlocking levels with speed runs.[5]

Level types Edit

Story leads you through three main gameplay types, though all are based on speed.

Exploration levels allow the player to take their time familiarising themselves with the level, seeing the sights, unlocking bonuses and gathering collectables. These levels will eventually need to be completed in a certain time in order to progress through the game.

Flee and Pursue are essentially the same game modes, however Flee is running away from something, while Pursue is keeping pace, or catching something that is fleeing.

Exploration levels can be played in Time Trial mode.[5]

Pickups Edit

Dashkin features a range of pickups or collectables throughout the game. There are dewdrops that are used as experience points in the Skill Tree to learn new movies, and are found all over the world, or awarded for difficult movies. There are waterlollies, or storm eggs, that provide a speed boost for a short time. And there are mysterious journal pages scattered across about the various regions that form a codex of information that reveals more about the world of Brackenwood and its history.[6]

Obstacles Edit

Each region of has its own set of obstacles, some unique and some common to other regions. All collidable obstacles have their unique warning texture, that is, a visual indicator that Bitey is approaching an obstacle. Boulders have flowers, brambles have thorny canes, stalactites have glow worms and so on. The different obstacles are classified as hard, soft, trip traps and mobile ones, such as creatures.[7]

Wildlife Edit

Dashkin features a wide array of wildlife native to the world of Brackenwood. These include fatsacks, giribi and prowlies. Creatures can act as mobile obstacles.[7]

Concept and development Edit

In 2010 Kirk Sexton was a server engineer at EA2D Bioware in San Diego, California, where Adam Phillips worked briefly as an art lead. Phillips and Sexton hardly spoke while they were colleagues. Despite this they stayed in touch, and when Phillips' game project fell through in October 2016, they began discussing a collaboration. Soon thereafter they began work on Dashkin.[8]

Adam Phillips and Kirk Sexton has been streaming nearly all of the game development through Twitch and has also been giving away game keys with every new game update, usually going live during every weekend.[9][10]

Dashkin as a trilogy Edit

Initally Dashkin was only going to be a singleplayer story-focused game contiuniung from where the events of The Last of the Dashkin left off, but after several meetings between Phillips and Sexton it was decided that it would take far longer and a lot more money to produce a Last of the Dashkin type game with all of Phillips' ambitious ideas, and instead decided on splitting the game into three separate games. The first release, which would act as a test case, was BrackenSack, a multiplayer football brawler. The second game planned is a multiplayer racing game. The third and final game is planned to be the singleplayer story campaign. [2]

BrackenSack Edit

BrackenSack was a sport played by dashkin when they were still found on Brackenwood. This multiplayer football (soccer) brawler type minigame serves as a prequel set on Brackenwood when Dashkin were nurmerous. It pits teams of several dashkin against one another in a quick-paced ball game where the obbjective is to get the fatsack-shaped ball into the opposing team's goal. The players are allowed to punch and kick the other players and the game can become quite physical. [2]

Development time Edit

Original game and cancellation Edit

Dashkin was to be be a free-to-play game set in a natural world of grasslands, glades, forests and mountain caverns. It was a speed-based side-scroller of high speed challenges through Adam Phillips' world of Brackenwood. You would play as Bitey, the last of the Dashkin. Capable of super high speeds you would have to avoid obstacles, creatures and the menacing YuYu. The game was based on Phillips' online animated shorts on his website

In November 2010 Adam approached Sean McGee (top-ranking Flash game developer and creator of the Thing Thing series) about collaborating on a Brackenwood game. Work on Dashkin began soon after that. In March 2011, Adam was in talks with EA2D, a Flash games division of EA with a focus on social gaming. Contracts were issued and a team was allocated to the project. Before contracts could be signed however, changes in that company forced the project to be shelved. Adam was given the option either to find another sponsor, or stay with EA and wait indefinitely for it to get off the ground.

Adam and Sean decided to set up a Kickstarter. With a goal of $20,000, the campaign was successful reaching a goal of $27,333 with 483 backers.

By 2015, Dashkin had been in development for almost 5 years and in June 2015, Phillips announced on the Dashkin Facebook page that the game would be cancelled due to lack of progress.[11]

Trivia Edit

  • Bitey's in-game speed is exactly 720 kilometers per hour (447.387 per hour).

References Edit

External links Edit

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