Knights: Spiral Island Gets Kickstarter Page

By Quintin Smith on February 21st, 2011 at 4:06 pm.

What a load of crab.

I’m really liking what Kickstarter is doing for PC gaming. It’s incredible. We’ve got renowned Interactive Fiction authors quitting their day jobs to make IF full time, indie devs making adventure games flooded with Americana and magical realism and jetpack dinosaur multiplayer extravaganzas, and even a fund for continued development of an indie game arcade in NYC. Beautiful stuff. And here’s another one. An indie studio made of up industry veterans wants your money to make Knights: Spiral Island, an online FPS boasting crab warriors, star vikings and potentially even “haunted bicycles” and “psychic space bees”. Interested? Of course you’re interested.

The gist of Knights found on the Kickstarter page is as follows: you play a mighty space knight on quest to defeat pretty much anything the developers can think of, in whatever style the devs can think of (“from single player narratives to multiplayer arenas, co-operative gameplay, and everything in between”, “cutting edge graphics or 8 bit”), with the game being expanded with new levels as fast as the developers can churn them out. The end result, they say, will be like “a music playlist that goes on and on in endless variety”.

The eight hour FPS re-imagined as the fifteen minute FPS, then? That’s something I’d play. Though something that jumps out at me as more than a little stingy is that on the lift of project backer rewards it appears that you only get access to the finished game by pledging $50 or more. This is for a game they’re planning to sell for $5 to $10. $30 gets you beta access, and $10 gets you a unique community rank, a unique game rank and a signed note of thanks from the developers. Hmm. I always thought the smartest option for Kickstarter funding was to simply let people fund the game by pre-ordering it. Then again, what do I know? I have the business sense of a bag of hams. Here’s a video of the Playground State guys talking us through their dream.

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24 Comments »

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  1. westyfield says:

    If the crab battles aren’t like this then don’t bother me.
    http://www.crazymonkeygames.com/Ultimate-Crab-Battle.html

    Ugh, how do you make links appear all fancy-like in words?

    • Premium User Badge

      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      [a href="http://linky-poos.com"]My words, they go here.[/a]

      (subbing inequality sign brackets for the square brackets where appropriate)

    • westyfield says:

      Thanks. I’ll leave the link all ugly in the original comment for posterity.

  2. DoveBrown says:

    Who are the industry veterans working on this? What have they done before? They don’t claim industry experience on their website or seem to mention any previous game ( from their About page: http://www.playgroundstate.com/?page_id=148 ).

    I’m not saying they don’t have experience, I just can’t tell their track record and so thus can’t tell if giving them money would lead to anything?

    Anyone know of anything they have done?

    • HyPeer128 says:

      hey dude, I’m the guy in the video, When i was about 18 or 19, I was hired for the first time to start working on PS2 games and whatnot, More often than not – doing Freelance work you end up working on giant EA projects that get canceled, Its happened a few times unfortunately, but yea, I just finished work on a game i’m SURE just got canceled, cant really talk about it, was a next gen PS3 game, and i worked on a companies next gen technology demo this month, again, most of my work as a freelancer is NDA’d to hell. I have been able to keep a roof over my head for the past 10 or so years with freelance work, for studios like EA, Sony, NCsoft, Streamline Studios, Streamline Productions, Liquid Development, The US army, Microsoft, TimeGate, cryptic, chi, warner brothers etc.
      I didn’t blab on the site about past experiences just because I wanted to let the art for the game speak for itself.

    • DoveBrown says:

      Hey HyPeer128 (a.k.a Barry)

      Cool, the comment was not meant as a slight on your experiences. And the art is nice, though many many years of watching non-gameplay video for games that would be awesome but never come out, has finally inoculated me against them. And the in-engine visualisation for the last game I worked on that didn’t come out basically means these days I try not to bet on projects and would rather bet on people and teams.

      Listing experience on the about page of your website isn’t going to stop people donating to you and can’t really hurt. I too would have kept things short in any pitch, but once someone (I’m using myself as the single data point in this survey) clicks on your website they are looking for information on who you are. The About page is a perfect place for this.

      Best of luck with the fund raising.

    • HyPeer128 says:

      I couldn’t agree more, good advice, and thanks for the interest in the project, much appreciated, Take care dude, ill put some more jazz on the info page.

  3. McDan says:

    Psychic space bees can only be a good thing.

  4. Ashrik says:

    I couldn’t figure out what Dharma station he was talking about, but it all sounds pretty interesting

  5. RadioactiveMan says:

    I think Kickstarter is a very cool idea, but I am skeptical about this particular pitch.

    To me, it felt like the guy in the video was threatening to hold early contributors hostage. “Give us 10K”, he says, “and we’ll give you a game”. Okay. But wait, “now give us another 65K to make the game we really want to make”. It feels almost like a pyramid scheme: You’ve invested… now, if you want a the full return on investment, find ten more people, and make them invest.

    I am also skeptical that they can do everything they are promising. The extra funding is basically going to their salaries, to allow them to develop this game longer. But they are promising alot, for what I imagine is not enough money to extend the development very long. Basically I am skeptical of episodic content being delivered on time.

    Anyway, good luck to them, I guess! I personally prefer to see Kickstarter used the way Cthulhu Saves the World did. That guy had a finished product, and wanted to bring it to a wider audience.

    • HyPeer128 says:

      hey, yea, well, Kickstarter.com suggested we ask for the minimum and hope for the best, so we designed our video around that, In the end, really, were just trying to be realistic, 10k gets you a complete game, but its only going to be as developed as you realistically can be for 10k, But thankfully Knights Systems are scalable, we can just cut-back systems until a later time. The main goal for us really is to just get this game polished and out the door as soon as possible, to get people playing and keep us excited.. It can get boring working on a game nobody knows about or plays :)

    • RadioactiveMan says:

      Cheers- thanks for the reply.

      I guess if thats what Kickstarter recommends, then thats what you go for. I hope you get the money to do the whole thing!

    • HyPeer128 says:

      So i just made a fairly big update on kickstarter.com about the project.
      In a nutshell it reads:

      No matter how much you pledge or have already pledged, you will get the Knights multiplayer release (Including beta access). The multiplayer release will include all the arenas, co-op missions, and experimental mini-games we develop for the spiral islands as well as a whole range of others while the game continues development. So pledge up, and battle with your friends in the Knights arena.

      Hope this helps, because i would hate it to seem like we were being greedy, we just want to be able to make this game for everybody to enjoy.

    • RadioactiveMan says:

      Cheers- I am in :)
      I feel like like I was overly pessimistic initially. I think its awesome that you interact and respond with a community like RPS, so I am proud to support you simply because of that. Plus, I am curious to see how it turns out.

      Good luck! I want to battle gigantic crabs with space bees!

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Honestly, I’d prefer to help the development of new games, rather than help someone go over the history of an already successful game. A quick wander round the Internet can get you a lot of info about the history of Minecraft, a variety of interviews with Notch, etc… in fact probably much more info on all the different aspects of Minecraft than anything that could be fitted inside a single documentary narrative.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Daiv says:

    Pshfff. What game announced in the last two years doesn’t feature psychic space bees? It’s like the new physics, the new sniper rifle, and the new normal-mapping all rolled into one. You can’t open RPS without seeing the latest psychic space bee game – touting what feature? F***ING PSYCHIC SPACE BEES. If I have to see psychic space bees one more time I’m going unleash them on the creativity-impoverished developers of the world and laugh as their brains are harvested and turned into sickly sweet mind-honey.

    And don’t get me started on the over-use of the haunted bicycle in AAA games. EA, I’m looking at YOU.

  7. EveningNewbs says:

    The name sounds an unfortunate amount like Spiral Knights.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yea, that’s where my mind went when I saw the article title, and even the article image.

  8. Wulf says:

    Footnote: Creavures looks incredible. I was glad I was able to help fund that one.

  9. Wulf says:

    (New post for this, since including it in the above one wouldn’t be entirely fair/right.)

    Since the developer is paying attention, I might just throw this out there, because I might as well. The playable characters in Knights are only just your staple technoknights a la Hellgate, I take it? Personally, I’d love the chance to play the beastie that you’re advertising there, or something equally monstrous and otherworldly. But if the only playables are knights, then I think I’ll give this a miss.

    I’ll likely still fund it though, either way, to at least a certain amount, because I like seeing indie titles succeed, even those that I might not personally have any interest in.

    • HyPeer128 says:

      Hey Wulf, Yea, I don’t Know if you ever had a chance to play our teams mod back in 2004 called Eon, (screenshots from it below) but that was sort of the entire point behind Eon, playing as either Humans or Beasts, that is a gameplay concept we have not entirely dropped.. We mention a lot of “Experimental Mini games” and such, and that was really stabbing at the idea of creating new gameplay modes where there will be players playing as a scrapper, which is interesting because we will have to balance that in a new way, since its most typical in games that the opposing force is simply a different color and shape but functions exactly the same. So thankfully with the assets we have, we really do have the chance to do some new and fun gameplay modes. so to answer your question – yes, it is our intent to find cool ways of playing as the scrapper, and the other crab beasties aswell.
      http://s163.photobucket.com/albums/t292/Bearcollins/?action=view&current=ShepherdRifleman2.jpg
      http://s163.photobucket.com/albums/t292/Bearcollins/?action=view&current=deer2.jpg
      http://s163.photobucket.com/albums/t292/Bearcollins/?action=view&current=demshot4.jpg
      Eon was a mod we worked on ages ago, we all had to pay the bills and could no longer work on a mod for no real pay, so it fell to the way side and disappeared. We put a good 6 months of our free time into Eon, maybe more, and sofar only about a few weeks of hard work on Knights, So i am hopefull that we can focus on knights full-time for a few months, and have something really sold to show for it.

  10. BobbyFischer says:

    Wow, the artistic style is very interesting.

    @HyPeer128

    What language is this written in? (C++, C#)?
    Did you guys write your own 3D engine?

    thanks

    • HyPeer128 says:

      Hey, were actually using Unreal Development Kit (UDK).
      So its all thanks to the hard work of the people at epic games studios.
      and thanks for the feedback :)