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This is an article I wrote on September 4th just prior to our launch of KrabbitWorld demos for Mac and PC. It covers our dev history and gets into both technical and business decisions as well as risks and rewards.

Teri Thom, Blogger

September 4, 2009

6 Min Read

From quaint 2D MMORPG to primitive 3D Peer to Peer Action RPG to a more sophisticated 3D Action RPG, steered by the confines of limited resources and wanting technology, the Krabbits have finally found their feet in KrabbitWorld Origins.

A Gothic Fantasy 3D Action RPG, KrabbitWorld Origins, has been defined by it’s viewers as having the charm of a wonderland and the bizarre quality of a nightmare where others have referred to it as a great psychedelic gothic romp.

KrabbitSoft defies the rules by putting all one’s eggs into the risky untested IP basket. Curiously, time has ultimately aligned the ingredients for effective production. Putting all focus on developing ‘the game we always wanted to make’ might well have guided this eventual alignment of elements.

Presentations for funding and applications for grants could have resulted in loss of ownership and integrity of the IP and original game idea. Separating distractions from focusing on the main goal was of key importance.

With the quality of life being such a big issue in the game development industry one might ask “Was it worth putting in 2.5 man years each into the last 8 months?” “Yes!” I say. Success at best, gained knowledge and experience at worst, and in my honest opinion, that’s never a loss”.

In breaking out the Organic Game Design by Evolution reference, three examples come to mind. Where externally funded games have to follow a set plan, we as independents can flow like water around rock.

For instance, we came up against a technological brick wall with regards to our text/quest system so we implemented our own new solution of dynamically streaming quest content from the web to the game, thereby eliminating the necessity of a new build for an added quest.

This and our online authentication/anti-piracy feature further substantiate our choice of krabbitonline.com as our supporting domain.

The other two examples of Organic Evolution are our combo hud/combat execution and camera/character controls which both started out inspired by games we love and evolved into our own signature style. We use a 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) camera and allow our Krabbits with their exaggerated animations and up to 400 bones per character and up to 30 mount points, extreme freedom of movement.

Actually a 4th example comes to mind with our innovative implementation of the 3D inventory and paper doll system. It was born out of the need to save time. We didn’t have the time to create a 2D icon for every item so we opened another camera viewport instead of using ‘render to texture’ which is an expensive technique. The inventory itself was automatically created from the model’s separate surfaces. The player can mouse over items to rotate them in the inventory window. This way our inventory can benefit from toon shaders. We use this technique for our avatar hud, drag n’ drop inventory, navigational map and camera fly through scenes.

Why the title “KrabbitWorld Origins”?

“KrabbitWorld” was our first game. (a quaint little 2D MMO back in 2000 with a modest following) With the rising popularity of 3D, neither Dean nor I could settle for 2D.

“KrabbitWorld Labyrinth” was our first venture into 3D. (a valiant attempt but a bit of a train wreck and fairly reviewed with numbers from both ends of the scale back in 2006).

Now with the features of the Unity Technologies engine we’re able to combine our experience and technology to go back to developing our ‘Original’ game idea. Plus our characters, the Krabbits, all come from a different Realm of Origin.

What’s the game about? What are the mechanics? What is special about it?

The gist of it:

First off, the Krabbits, a giant humanoid species, are inspired by the lovable bandity faces and flexible forms of ferrets and the huge ears and feet and tremendous speed and jumping ability of rabbits. Their adversaries, the Necrotechs, resulted from a vindictively motivated combining of technology and magic with Krabbits.

Moving on; … KrabbitWorld, lush and fertile, is home to Krabbits from eight different Realms. Following the Great Guardian War, the vile Necrotechs from the Realm of Contrivance invade the Krystal Kaverns and strive to breach the Gateway of the Land of The Dead. You must protect the Celestial Shard and stop the Necrotechs from bringing Chaos to the land.

Deeper plot twists include the emotional tension and drama between the reluctant Hero Guardian Kria and her, unbeknownst to her sister, Teella whom, a villain by circumstance is now a living dead, Fallen Priestess and Kria’s arch nemesis.

The linear gameplay reveals the lore through quests. However a kool feature is the ability to play sandbox style once you’ve completed the first scene. Currently there are 6 playable Krabbits. The depth of character customization and building extends the linear gameplay as far as the player wants to take it as the level cap is set to 99 while the powers can continue to be built to 999.

Other features include exploring many levels, and a uniquely engaging hack n' slash combat employing a combo hud. The combo hud allows players to increase damage based on timing and accuracy. Camera and character controls allow the player 6 degrees of freedom and movement abilities akin to superheroes.

At game end of Scene One players upon defeating the end boss are gifted with special loot. Updates with more characters, quests and levels are currently in development.

KrabbitWorld Origins web site:

A free demo is available in Mac OSX and Windows for download at:

An informative and fun interactive game features page can be played with at:

KrabbitWorld Origins has entered the UA 2009 competition: aka 2009 Unity Awards


Teri Thom is the co-founder, president/CEO and artist of KrabbitSoft Studios Inc.
She has over 20 years experience working in the graphics industry.

KrabbitSoft Studios is a 100% Canadian owned independent game development company comprised of two people based in Surrey, BC, Canada.

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