By Jim Rossignol on February 3rd, 2011 at 12:24 pm.
If you’ve been following the development of Orion: Prelude – the sci-fi action game of jetpack combat and dinosaurs – then you might be aware that the recently team appealed to crowd-sourced money thing Kickstarter to get the project funded. I took some time to take to Spiral’s David Prassel about raising money through Kickstarter, and the overall state of the project. Read on for elucidation.
RPS: Who are Spiral Studios, where did you guys come from, and what is your goal?
Prassel: Spiral is a collaboration of just over twenty individuals. Many of them are former industry pros, including folk from companies such as SEGA, Electronic Arts and Obsidian. We are all working out of “love for the game” as we currently do this for free – no money in, no money out. The first chunk of change that we will EVER see for doing this is from our KickStarter event.
Our goal is to change the way that games are made AND played. We will also be attempting our damn hardest to eliminate some negative elements within the industry – such as premium DLC in it’s current state. No one should be paying $15 for four multiplayer maps. Any old-time PC gamer should scowl at this. It also wouldn’t hurt to be able to do what we love – and to be able to live off of it.
RPS: And where did Orion come from?
Prassel: ORION is older than most new fans may think. I outlined the first design of the game series back in 1998. It oversaw many design and game changes – but the three main components have always remained in, which include the Dinosaurs, the Vehicles and the Jetpacks. To answer the question more simply, however – it came from my brain. The area that never grew up. I think the love for Dinosaurs is an ageless thing, whether you are seven or seventy-seven.
RPS: Tell us what we will be getting up to in the game.
Prassel: ORION is literally for everyone. We have tons and tons of content and are creating one of the coolest sandboxes ever. This includes the various dinosaurs, thirty weapons, items and grenades, jetpacks, vehicles, mechs and some of the most impressive visuals to date. The game revolves around pure excitement and joy. If you’ve ever wanted to cruise around in a buggy with some buddies, fight some dinosaurs and aliens in Co-Op – or relive the amazing aerial combat sequences from old classics like Tribes – ORION is the battleground to do it on. We started using the slogan “A Better Battleground” back in EuroGamer after hearing fan reactions.
RPS: And what is in Orion’s future?
Prassel: As previously mentioned – ORION has been around for over a decade. This time was not wasted as ORION is an already-designed and planned trilogy. Prelude is our entry both into the industry as well as a brand new game series. We are packing the game full of content and releasing it on digitally distributed markets – which allow us to sell it for less and with our insane work cycles and incredible business plans – make the game for less.
RPS: Can you tell us about the Kickstarter project? How did you decide on that? Has the success of it surprised you? Do you expect to see other projects following your lead?
Prassel: KickStarter has been absolutely amazing. My Brother, who is also the VP of Operations here at Spiral told me about it late last year. I checked it over but we were swamped and never really had the time to gear up towards it and prepare the amount of rewards and content that we would be comfortable with.
However, once the time came around to actually doing it – it was incredibly easy. You simply submit the application, wait to see if you get approved, and then just think of neat rewards that you yourself would like and go from there. For our specific project, we are completely humbled and appreciative to the success and outcome of our event. It went way better and much faster than we had even hoped and we are working on pushing update after update to the public in order to show our appreciation.
RPS: Is Orion safe now, thanks to the Kickstarter funding, or are there other challenges ahead?
Prassel: Sadly no. This will be our first bit of “funding” – but it is exceptionally small and only helps cover our immediate goals, which are the Multiplayer Beta, Games Developer Conference, creating KickStarter gift packages – and of course, securing key developers – which we house just over twenty. We have gathered interests from multiple publishers but our immediate focus is polishing and perfecting the game build before proceeding down that road. We are also currently looking at more investment options, including venture capitalists firms and family and friends.
If you know anyone with deep pockets and a love for dinosaurs – you know who to send them to!
RPS: Thanks for your time.