The former Sony Online Studios boss, John Smedley, has launched a Kickstater, with his new studio, Pixelmage Games, for their first game, Hero’s Song. A 2D, pixel art rogue-like action RPG, Hero’s Song promises to work as a single player game, but also as an MMO.

Styling its gameplay after action RPGs such as Diablo and Path of Exile, the game seems simple, but throws in the added wrinkle of giving you only one life to live. This wrinkle then explodes into an entire mountain range as, with player-hosted servers, each world is entirely procedurally generated, and can hold thousands of players. And yes, friendly fire is defaulted to be always on.

With everything from the land to the lore and history of every world procedurally generated at the onset, no two worlds will be exactly alike. “The backstory to Hero’s Song changes each time you create a new world, but it still has elements of the backstory we created woven into it,” the Kickstater explains.

To help make all this possible, Pixelmage Games has even enlisted the storytelling talent of New York Times bestselling fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind). Together, he and the team are building mythologies, races, religions, and gods, what Rothfuss calls his “bread and butter.”

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As far as other big name talent goes, Pixelmage has also signed a deal with celebrated video game composer Inon Zur (Fallout 4, Dragon Ago: Inquisition) to provide the music. “We are looking for something that is not going to be as dark or menacing as many other games in this genre,” Zur explains. “When I heard about it, I got really excited, because the opportunity to actually create something that is more uplifting is something I’m not being requested to do on a regular basis.”

“Our goal with Pixelmage Games is to make extremely deep and hardcore games in a beautiful pixel art style with an incredibly deep multiplayer experience,” Smedley says. In order to do that Pixelmage Games is looking to co-fund Hero’s Song through Kickstarter with another $800,000, on top of the $1 million they already received from private investors. Having just launched, the game is currently sitting at $34,000 with 29 days to go, at the time of writing.


Production having started back in October, Pixelmage is aiming for a fall release, with an alpha in July and betas in August and September. For a full breakdown of everything there is to know about the game, including descriptions of crafting, magic, and the RPG mechanics be sure to check out the game’s Kickstater page.

Almost a year ago, Sony Online Studios, the developer behind Everquest, Planetside, DC Universe Online, and plenty of other MMOs, was sold off by Sony, becoming Daybreak Games. Roughly six months later, the company’s CEO, Smedley, left to start his new studio.

What do you think of Hero’s Song? Does it look interesting enough to back? Let us know in the comments.

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