A quartet of new, reasonably high-profile, Kickstarter projects hoping to crowdfund the productions of videogames launched today, offering four rather different pitches, and each asking for quite a bit of cash.
With a US$500,00 target, Project Awakened is the salvage of a prototype game called Hero, that was in production Midway when the publisher went bankrupt. Some members of the team banded together to form Chicago-based Phosphor Games Studio, and keep the Awakened dream alive.
Being built on the yet-to-be-released Unreal Engine 4, Awakened is targeting next-generation platforms with a game promising deep character customisation and heavily emergent emergent gameplay. The developers are planning a Minecraft/League of Legends style iterative creation process, with stretch goals that include modding support, and multiplayer.
Seeking GBP£300,000, Death Inc. pitches itself as an RTS with god game and business simulation elements, with a dev team comprising veterans of Media Molecule, Lionhead, and Criterion Games, that further describes the game as "every Bullfrog title that you ever liked, mixed with Katamari, and Pikmin". Players assume the role of a Grim Reaper in 17th century England, working in the cut-throat business of... killing people.
The Golem has the loftiest goal out of today's hopeful's at US$750,000. The team at Moonbot studio hail from the unlikely Shreveport, Louisiana (apparently, the country's 107th largest city), and this will be their first game. They're not short of creative creds however, having won an Academy Award for their 2012 short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a Webby for the Numberlys, and are currently tasked with one of Sony's PlayStation Wonderbook offerings.
The game they hope to create puts players in the role of a fantastical golem, tasked with defending the Czech city of Prague against the war machines of Roman tyrant Cesare Borgia. The narrative intends to dive deep into the origins of golem mythology for a PC game first, with consoles planned if they exceed the funding target.
Lastly, Worlds of Wander is the second Kickstarter attempt from id Software co-founder Tom Hall. After coming up short with the Old School RPG Shaker, Hall has instead turned his attention to another passion, old school platformers.
Although the project is partly promoting Secret Spaceship Club, a spiritual successor to Hall's classic Commander Keen with all the gems you can collect, that's not the core pitch here. Rather, Worlds of Wander intends to serve as a game creation kit that empowers the community to create their own platform games, with a freeform construction for level design and powerful scripting engine.
Hall is aiming for launch on PC, Mac, and Linux, and also shows the prototype running on a tablet device.
Whilst I commend their efforts. I'll be waiting until Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, Star Citizens and Shadowrun Returns is complete before I pledge to any more Kickstarters.
Sorry guys, I'm all pledged out.