I plan to review the Kickstarter RPG's I backed as they come out. I'll link each review here.
- Shadowrun Returns (2013)
- The Banner Saga (2014)
- Shadowrun: Dragonfall (2014)
- 2014 Year in Review (featuring thoughts on Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin)
This thread is about the possible CRPG Renaissance that we are witnessing here in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Twelve. It's all thanks to a website called Kickstarter and the increasingly popular idea of crowdfunding, which allows game developers to cast off the yoke of their evil Publisher oppressors and create the games that they want to make and we want to play, rather than games that cater to the broadest possible demographic. This allows for the creation of games that no publisher would ever fund today, like point-and-click adventure games and isometric, party-based CRPGs. I'll mostly be posting about the latter, but you can talk about other crowd-funded games in other genres too.
AKA The Last, Best Hope for RPGs. (it's a Fallout 3 reference)
Wasteland 2 is the sequel to the 1988 computer game Wasteland, the godfather of the Fallout series. The project is headed by Brian Fargo, who also directed the original Wasteland and produced - guess what? - the original Fallout. The only reason Fallout exists is because he no longer had the rights to the Wasteland name at the time (who did? EA... they published the original, back when they were just called "Electronic Arts"), so he made up Fallout instead of creating a Wasteland sequel.
Anyway, Fargo was never able to successfully pitch the idea of Wasteland 2 to a big publisher, so he moved the project to Kickstarter, as seen in the humorous video atop the Kickstarter page. The goal of the Kickstarter project was $900,000, the largest goal ever posted on Kickstarter at that time, I believe. It ended at over $3,000,000 (once the separate PayPal donations are factored in).
I backed it for $100 myself. Look for my name in the credits.
Why, you ask? Fargo is making big promises about this game. It's supposed to be the game that revives the dead genre of the isometric, party-based, turn-based CRPG (Computer Role-Playing Game). You create a squad of 4 custom Desert Rangers (and can recruit up to 2 followers as well) and wander the wastes, doing quests and fighting for survival in the turn-based combat system. There will be choices & consequences, shades of grey, all that good stuff.
The game has an estimated release date of October 2013. The official website is here, and here is the concept artist's DeviantArt page. Note the Scorpitron 2.0.
"Project Eternity" (now titled Pillars of Eternity)
Project Eternity is a project by Obsidian Entertainment, headed by former Black Isle Studios names Chris Avellone (who is also involved with Wasteland 2), Tim Cain, and Josh Sawyer. It aims to bring back the beloved Infinity Engine RPGs of old, like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment, combining the best aspects of each. Here's a little of what we know so far:
- The view will be isometric, with graphics that combine 2D and 3D. Possibly running on the Onyx Engine.
- The combat will be RTwP (Real-Time with Pause), just like the Infinity Engine games.
- The rating will be Mature, and the devs are promising to write complex stories and characters as seen in PsT.
- The setting is a brand new fantasy IP by Obsidian.
I don't know about you, but they had me at "new Infinity Engine style game."
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Completing the trifecta of CRPGs-made-in-the-Unity-Engine-by-former-Black-Isle-devs, Torment: Tides of Numenera is the spiritual successor to everyone's favorite weird-as-hell interactive novel with a side of video game, Planescape: Torment. This one is not Planescape or D&D, however - it's set in the world of Numenera, an RPG setting that was also Kickstarted.
As I understand it, Numenera is a fantasy world in which as many as nine different nations have risen to the peak of their civilization and then suddenly crumbled, each building on the ruins of the previous, each leaving behind strange artifacts so powerful and advanced that the current citizens of Numenera see them as magic. Basically, yeah, it's weird enough to replace Planescape. The story of Torment is very similar to PS:T - the hero (the "Forgotten One," wink-wink-nudge-nudge) was used as the physical shell of an powerful being who travels from one mortal husk to the next, growing stronger each time. Another powerful entity pursues and seeks to destroy him, along with any husks he leaves behind. As you are one of the husks, you no doubt must discover the true NATURE OF
A MAN these beings.
Anyway, it's gonna be isometric 2D just like Project Eternity and it looks cool, check it out. The Kickstarter has already been wildly successful, becoming the fastest project to hit $1 million - it took just 6 hours.
So, is this really a CRPG Renaissance, or will all our hopes and dreams (and Kickstarter funds) come to naught? In this thread we speculate, as we wait to find out.
I will post news as it is announced, unless someone else beats me to it.
Some other Kickstarter thingies that look pretty sweet (I backed all these):
- Divinity: Original Sin (turn-based action-RPG promising highly reactive dialogue/story/world, with optional co-op)
- The Banner Saga (it just looks so gosh-durn purdy)
- Legends of Eisenwald (turn-based medieval... thingy that I was talked into backing)
If you would like me to add any other upcoming CRPGs and/or related Kickstarter projects to this list, just say so!