Travel through a beautiful, fictional rendition of the 16th century of Feudal Japan. Choose between four types of warriors as you learn to master intuitive, directionally-driven swordplay while also choosing unique abilities to ensure victory over your foes. Join your friends in an immersive multiplayer campaign across Japan in pursuit of either preserving the peace and honor of the Emperor or bringing on chaos and death by playing across four different game modes with different objectives and strategies. Whether you prefer the blade wielding Kenshi or Naginata Samurai, the range and precision of the Samurai Archer, or the deceptive Ninja, the options are vast and the battles fierce.

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Gazebo of Hope (from Yari Foothills map) Bridge of Hope (Yari Foothills) Bridge of Hope (Yari Foothills)
Blog RSS Feed Post news Report abuse Latest News: Dev Update #16: May 27, 2015 – Happy Birthday ‘Hanako’ & More

0 comments by MattCan36 on May 27th, 2015

A Personal Note First

Typically, our updates begin with the most important development topics but today is a very special day to me, and to the meaning of Hanako – Soul of the Samurai. Today would have been the 60th birthday of my mother, Janie (or Hanako as the game loosely translates). Our game, as we sometimes tell, is a tribute to the loss of her life as well as the loss of a mentor and supporter of the project in its infancy.

For anyone who has lost a parent or someone very close to them, I ask that when you may eventually play our game, that when you find a moment of beauty or serenity in the game – be it the scenery, music or anything else, that you stop to remember their lives and the lives of the fallen for whom this game is being made to honor.

Matt & Mom (circa 2006) & same (circa 1991)

Matt & Mom (circa 2006) & same (circa 1991)


Happy 60th Mom – from the Hanako Team. We will make you proud.

Most Important Update Things

We haven’t posted much since our Kickstarter wrapped up. We all decided in our own way to step away from the project for a few weeks and take a hard look at our own motivations, ideas and contributions to come back to the project recently and assess, as a group, where we feel the project is headed, where its strong, where its weak and start heading into a very development heavy phase.

We’ve spent a lot of effort on getting demos ready for conventions, contests and other things – and while some of those efforts included mechanics we intended for the actual game, some things did not and we felt this pulled away greatly from our ability to progress the designed game.

So we looked at our direction and decided we felt combat messaging and some combat pacing aspects were fairly weak in the game, and have been prototyping ideas to make combat feel impactful, fun and easy to read outcomes of swings/combos/etc.

Environment Art Update

One of the last Kickstarter updates ( was a rather lengthy explanation of the Yari Bridge area (called the Bridge of Hope) and part of that set. The next part of that set is the gateway to that sacred territory, a very ornate Gazebo. Below are some shots of that piece that I (Matt) recently finished.

Yari Foothills Gazebo

Yari Foothills Gazebo

With the most significant pieces in that center area complete, the focus will shift to secondary props and the starting areas/backgrounds for each team’s side.

Character Art Update

The Naginata class is almost ready for animation to get started, we’re finalizing some issues with the rig before we hand that over to our animator. The ninja was recently completed as well and will be passed off to rigging to start very soon. We’re extremely excited about this character because we feel the direction is a very unique take on a ninja, and well its a freaking ninja!



We are working hard to implement the rest of the Ite (archer) abilities and mechanics so that we can test with an equally complete Kenshi and Ite to start looking at some pacing and balance concerns. One of the things that has suffered the most because of our side-tracking for Kickstarter demos, conventions, etc. was getting our skill tree/ability system fully realized. We had an earlier prototype that we pulled for the Kickstarter demo, but we are turning focus to getting that done so we can start testing it in builds. It’s really important to us to refine our designs as we go, so we want an early iteration to make sure its fun, fits well with the rest of the game and adds a great deal of dynamism to the gameplay.

We also are trying to get all of our game modes prototyped so we can tweak the rules and start blocking out maps for our campaign levels to make sure all of our game modes are fun and different enough to warrant having.

Wrap Up

We’re also looking into better ways to build our community so make sure you keep in touch with us at our website ( by joining our mailing list, the forum there and all of our social networks. Until next time guys, we are glad to be back on top of things and motivated to get the game done, and done right.


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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 20)
dizco Apr 19 2015 says:

Saw this on the UE Stream. Looks really promising Guys!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Feb 22 2015 says:

Do you guys plan Linux support? Could be included in Kickstarter too.

+1 vote     reply to comment
MattCan36 Creator
MattCan36 Feb 23 2015 replied:

We have discussed it a little bit. It doesn't seem hard in UE4 to go to Linux or Mac, but it's something that needs more serious discussion.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Staiver Jan 30 2015 says:

It's something realy promising! I hope you'll make a story or editor mode (both of them should be offline) so i and other netless people can ply it too. keep up the good work!

+1 vote     reply to comment
kazumo Jan 22 2015 says:

This looks pretty cool. I'm going to track it, looking forward to see what you guys come out with! Keep up the awesome work!

+1 vote     reply to comment
MattCan36 Creator
MattCan36 Jan 22 2015 replied:

Thanks a lot man.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Staiver Dec 20 2014 says:

I just found the mod,but i'm already excited! Pls release an Alpha as soon as possible! It's realy promising! I hope there will be cool finishers,and realistic sword combat.

+1 vote     reply to comment
MattCan36 Creator
MattCan36 Dec 20 2014 replied:

Thank you :) We did our first closed pre-alpha demo session recently and are really excited. We absolutely will have both :D

+1 vote   reply to comment
Guest Sep 15 2014 says:

Looking great! Keep up the good work :)


+1 vote     reply to comment
MB.ElPadrino Aug 10 2014 says:

Looks like a promising game. Tracking

+4 votes     reply to comment
MattCan36 Creator
MattCan36 Aug 14 2014 replied:

Thank you :D

+1 vote   reply to comment
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Hanako - Soul of the Samurai
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MPact Games, LLC.
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Hanako - Soul of the Samurai
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