Dragonkind is a cancelled fantasy action adventure game developed by TriLunar for Xbox and PlayStation 2, around 2002.
Set in the fantasy world of Vermilion, Dragonkind follows the adventures of a young man named Grail who has the mysterious ability to control the power of dragons. This ability causes problems as well as provides great benefits, and launches Grail on a series of escapades that carry him across the world. The game story evolves as Grail journeys into and out of adventures and to a final conclusion that answers questions about his past and his role in the future of the world…
The game was officially revealed in April 2002. Worthplaying wrote:
TriLunar, LLC announced today their newest game title, Dragonkind. Combining the action and exploration of classic platform games with the depth of story and character found in console role-playing games, Dragonkind promises to deliver a unique experience that is only possible with the power and flexibility of today’s newest generation of console platforms.
Set in the fantasy world of Vermilion, Dragonkind follows the adventures of a young man named Grail who has the mysterious ability to control the power of dragons. This ability causes problems as well as provides great benefits, and launches Grail on a series of escapades that carry him across the world. The game story evolves as Grail journeys into and out of adventures and to a final conclusion that answers questions about his past and his role in the future of the world… or does it? In the spirit of classic comic book tales, things in Dragonkind are not always as they appear to be.
“I’ve always been fascinated with video games,” says Joe Madureira, President of Creative Development, “and I had been looking for the opportunity to express myself creatively in real-time 3D. Our goal is to make Dragonkind feel like a real-life comic book with all of the great characters, story and action found in today’s best comics. With today’s technology, you can create fantasy worlds of unprecedented depth and detail.”
Game play in Dragonkind will feature a mix of action and adventure. Key features in the game include:
- Stunning 3D world featuring the art, look and feel of noted comic book artist, Joe Madureira.
- An epic tale of good and evil; of love, honor and destiny! (With a little humor squeezed in when you weren’t looking)
- Unique friends and enemies, each with their own roles and personalities. Crafty rogues, roguish sea-pirates, piratical warlords – you get the idea.
- Extensive 3D lands of mystery and adventure to discover and explore. Secret areas and special locations will keep you searching for more.
- Run, jump, climb, swim, ride, sail and fly your way to success. (And even go on a train ride or two).
- Devious enemies and nefarious traps that require timing and strategy to defeat. Race across a field of ice floes with a sea serpent at your heels, ride an avalanche, wrestle a dragon, and much more!
- Story driven quest objectives and open game world allow a high degree of non-linear game play.
- Great battles of swords and strategy that increase in difficulty as you yourself become mightier. Summon the power of dragons to your aid with lava rain, ice comets, and earthquakes!
- Thrilling music and thundering sound effects.
- Cinematic camera control heightens the sense of adventure.
- Simple, intuitive interface keeps you focused on the game, not the controls.
“Today’s video game fan demands great story in addition to great game play,” says Greg Peterson, TriLunar’s CEO. “With Dragonkind we are taking the best aspects of console platformers and blending the best aspects of console role-playing games. We will know we’ve created a hit when people will be able to walk up to our game and start playing immediately, and still be hooked days later. Our story, game play, and technology will all support one another, so that the final package will take people on a journey of entertainment that remains fresh and engaging all the way through the game finale.”
Dragonkind is being developed for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox. Scheduled release date is 2004.
However, the project was quickly cancelled after its announcement. It was announced in August 2002 on the now-defunct website of TriLunar:
TriLunar Shuts Down Operations – August 27 • 2002
We have a disappointing announcement. Due to lack of resources, we have had to cease development of the game Dragonkind as well as close down TriLunar. The company was funded 100% internally, and without access to an external source of capital, we are unable to continue operating. This decision disappoints us as much as it probably disappoints all of our fans and supporters.
TriLunar has ceased all internal development. Work on the game Dragonkind has stopped and will not be starting up for the foreseeable future. Additionally, we are no longer accepting solicitations or employment applications.
We at TriLunar appreciate the unprecedented level of support we received over the course of development. We know it has been a tough road for our friends and fans as well as ourselves.
One thing which never failed was our team’s unflagging enthusiasm which was buoyed by support from the fans, the press and our families. We would like to thank all of you. We hope one day to return to you as much as you gave to us.
Take care and continued success.
-The TriLunar Team
In November 2009, French website Gameblog got in touch with Joe Madureira. Dragonkind was briefly mentionned:
G.B.: Did you immediately experience the same success in video games?
J.M.: No, not at all. But do you really want to talk about this?
G.B.: Yes, of course! It’s interesting to know what that might have brought you…
J.M.: In fact, my first attempts at video games were horrible. I created a game called Dragonkind, but our previous company (TriLunar) lost too much money and we went bankrupt. The game was never finished. Today at Vigil Games, we work with people I met through Dragonkind. So this experience finally allowed me to meet the right people. It’s still very important.
Article by Daniel Nicaise