Banner Saga Kickstarter Wraps, Big Features Added

By Nathan Grayson on April 21st, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

Soon, this whole scene will be rendered in Unreal Engine 23.
The seemingly infinite font of generosity that is Kickstarter has given rise to yet another rags-to-riches-to-restoration-of-faith-in-humanity tale – this time for the ex-BioWare trio at Stoic. If your only chance at survival after being crushed under a massive stack of cash was a bank-breaking, spine-saving donation to The Banner Saga, well, I don’t know what to tell you, seeing as the drive has now officially closed out at over $700,000. But, dear hilariously unfortunate reader, there is one upside: extra features! Tons of them! Though, admittedly, Banner Saga’s only been announced for platforms on this mortal plane so far.

In addition to a Linux port, the apocalyptic Viking role-player’s putting special focus on more variable mid-travel events, a finale that accounts for more of said variables, and – in multiplayer – player-owned-and-operated cities. Stoic explained in a Kickstarter update:

“There are two main things we want to expand with additional content: one is the variety of events that happen during travel. We’ve mentioned in a few places how this will be reminiscent of King of Dragon Pass. For example, a group of warriors in your caravan may approach you and demand more food than the farmers. Depending on your response you may upset the warriors or the farmers, cause one or the other leave or turn into an unexpected fight.”

“Or you might diffuse the situation and move on. Additionally, we want these events to have some repercussions. You might tell the warriors to back down and think the thing is settled, only to discover that two days later they steal supplies and run off while you’re sleeping. We’d like to add a much larger variety of these events and give them more variables.”

At more than 700 percent of its original funding goal, Stoic’s also hoping to hire on a couple additional staff – beyond, of course, Journey composer¬†Austin Wintory, who will now have a full orchestra to work with. The only real downside here? A slightly longer wait until the Kickstarter funding boomerang lands back in your hands. “We’ve been careful not to dramatically change the scope of the game but as you can probably tell we’ve added a LOT of stuff, way more than we ever expected. We don’t see it going something like six months over schedule but we do want to honest that it could go past this year,” explained Stoic.

Here’s hoping it’s worth the wait. Otherwise, Stoic’s gonna have a 20,042-person legion (and one money-mountain-suffocated ghost) kicking its doors down, demanding what it was promised. I’ve got high hopes for this one, but – while games-related Kickstarters hardly kicked off with Double Fine’s gold rush – this trend is still in its relative infancy. We’ve yet to see any of these newborn juggernauts deliver.

Moreover, what sorts of details will they provide mid-development? How much will they allow community suggestion to mold their new children, born of immaculate crowdsourcing conception? We shall see. You certainly can’t plan a massive influx of nearly one million dollars, so it’ll be interesting to see how much these developers stick to the script once it’s all safely tucked away in their terrifyingly over-stuffed piggy banks.

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24 Comments »

  1. Merlkir says:

    Mention of King of Dragon Pass make me happy.

  2. Blackcompany says:

    This sounds fantastic. Unfortunately, I had already kicked in for Wasteland 2 – and now for Grim Dawn – so I didn’t kick in for this one.

    I will, however, buy it on release. Based on what I have heard and read so far this game is a return to role playing and that is something I welcome on any platform, and all the more on PC.

    That said…I hope kickstarter slows down a little. Just enough to give some games the chance to release, to show publishers this is really a thing. Maybe that will help get the point across: A lot of people $10 million worth and counting – are really sick of playing the same old shit every year. Maybe once these games go to market and sell even more copies, the big houses will begin to consider branching out.

    If not, we can always kick start new games. And with Brian Fargo’s kicking it forward, hopefully, if one of these games achieves massive success, it will one day fund a AAA title via kickstarter and kicking it forward.

    Now that would make me grin.

    • enobayram says:

      I believe this is the tip of the iceberg. We’ll see the real kickstarter explosion when these great games come out at $50 price tag, and people who have kicked $10 for them start receiving them. Then, there’ll be a Kickstarter project like Wasteland 2 or Double Fine launching, and it will see a AAA grade funding.

      • Blackcompany says:

        Would love to see a Kickstarter get AAA funding. And with Fargo’s kicking it forward movement, it is not hard to imagine. Like the man himself said…if Minecraft-level success happens to a game whose devs make the 5% pledge, then Kickstarter could have one hell of a run on its hands.

        And I honestly believe some of the titles on Kickstarter now could achieve AAA level success. Wasteland 2 is one of the more promising games in this regard. A goodly number want to see a return to party-based Fallout, and I think Wasteland 2 may be similar enough to sell in large numbers. Can’t wait to find out.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Wasteland 2 might come out at the $50 mark, but I bet $30 is more likely. Banner Saga backers are only getting the first episode, so the wait until the collection comes out behavior will still be the best for many. Doublefine’s Adventure will very probably not come out higher than $20. Their recent mini games like Stacking and Costume quest have come to Steam at $15.

        Most of these games will probably still go down in price in a Steam sale a year after they come out. The economics are too good for them not to.

        • alphager says:

          Those that pledged $50+ get all episodes.

        • JFS says:

          Banner Saga backers who pledged more than 50$ – some 5000+ people – will get all three games. If they ever get made. Which I hope.

  3. Dingsey says:

    I have to say the art style looks lovely, also the trailer is particularly nice.

    Actually really looking forward to this!

  4. Unaco says:

    I’m pretty cool with the idea of Kickstarter, and it’s great to see a whole heap of games that I’d be super keen to buy/play/own getting funded, but… I make my steady income from Teaching, which means during the lulls through the academic year (Winter and Summer) I live off savings, and things are a little tight at times. As such, I’ve not been able to justify Kicking in on any of these great projects (Wasteland 2, Shadowrun, FTL, this) and, when I will have some spare shekels, they’re all going to be closed, And now, even though I’d be willing to give them money in (literally) a weeks time, I won’t be able to, and I’m likely going to have to stump up full price because I’ve missed the windows.

    I’d like to see them keeping some sort of pre-order option open, even after the Kickstarter closes (just the lowest tier that gets the game, I don’t need the Day 0 DLCs and the like). It would bring in more money for development, and let those who might have missed the opportunity to get in on this, to get in on this.

    The windows just seem too short for me, combined with missing out on helping to fund development, and getting the game for 1/3rd – 1/5th of what it’s going to be at retail, I don’t think the situation is ideal.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think the windows have to be fairly short because a company very well might be operating without funding while kickstarter is going on. It sucks, but it’s a delicate balance.

      Also, it remains to be seen how well kickstarted games will keep their prices after they’ve been out for a while. I don’t think they will. Risen kept its price steady for a year after it came out. The first steam sale was so popular that Steam ran out of keys, and Risen both sold more and made more than they had at release and the a year after combined.

    • StranaMente says:

      Well some of them do just that, like wasteland 2 http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/store that have opened a shop just for those reasons.
      :-)
      Let’s hope others follow this example.

      • Unaco says:

        Ahhh… thank you! I was not aware of that, and it’s precisely what I was looking for (even if it is $5 more than during the Kickstarter, that’s still coming across as a great deal for me, and I get to fund the development). Now, I just hope I can get in just at the end of the Shadowrun window, or that they (and FTL and Banner Saga) do something similar.

  5. wodin says:

    I’ve backed W2 and Shadowrun (I like the developer and how he comes across plus I like the modding possibilities with this title) but never got around to backing this, however I will buy when it’s released.

  6. Sinderlin says:

    Went for the collectors edition and added 5$ on top so I can feel like I did more than just pre-order with a headstart.

    My initial reason to fund this was the artwork, I’ll admit. But now I’m mostly interested in seeing how they handle the mature story without excessive amounts of “sex, violence and swearing” but with meaningful relationships and decisions. BioWare lately just fell short with this in my opionion so I hope for some fresh impulse from Stoic.

  7. ribobura osserotto says:

    Don’t forget the Nekro project, mates. It seems like a cool spiritual successor to Dungeon Keeper/Overlord, and they’re supporting all platforms DRM-free as well.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/343838885/nekro

    • Craig Stern says:

      I watched the trailer for that–they keep mentioning Dungeon Keeper, but the gameplay they show looks absolutely nothing like Dungeon Keeper’s. Unless I’m missing something?

      • ribobura osserotto says:

        Theoretically that’s more or less how Dungeon Keeper 3: War for the Overworld was supposed to be.

  8. Craig Stern says:

    I kicked in $50 to these guys. Their game looks extremely promising, and I’m really looking forward to designing a crest for them. :D

  9. SometimesYou says:

    Hello friends!

    Please take a look on our KickStarter project – it is artful game “Inner Dream” made from photo/video/music together. This is one of a kind game exist in the world and we really needs yours help to finish it till next year.

    Hope you’ll like it: http://kck.st/HWjj5s
    Sorry if not :)
    Have a nice day anyway!

  10. jrodman says:

    Yes, by the powers of gradients in a solution such as distilled water, the conflict may be diffused to a low molarity.