Keeping That Dungeon Warm: Nekro Is A-Go-Go

By Alec Meer on May 1st, 2012 at 12:30 pm.

your mum, yesterday

There’s one surefire way of getting around my wariness about when and if to cover Kickstarter projects here, and that’s when Kickstarter projects have already reached their funding goals. As well as being glad tidings in and of themselves, it means I don’t risk inadvertently wielding RPS as a flaming sword of financial justice in the event I post about them. Instead I can just say ‘oh hey cool, here’s a neato-sounding videogame that’ll be coming out at some point soon-ish.’

Oh hey cool, here’s a neato-sounding videogame that’ll be coming out at some point soon-ish. It’s called Nekro, it’s from devs who have formerly worked at the likes of Blizzard, Sony and Microsoft, and it claims to be a more free-form take on Dungeon Keeper with meaty chunks of Myth: The Fallen Lords and Giants: Citizen Kabuto thrown in.

Dungeon Keeper! The only game that even begins to rival X-COM as my favouritest of all the favoured favourites, that is. And so I am personally pleased that Nekro is definitely happening, having now hit its funding target. Though it has just over two days left to run, so if you do want to shower them with e-pennies it’s not too late.

I’ve been reluctant to post it until now, because it seemed to be part of that big, messy, overwhelming and exhausting explosion of Kickstarted projects in the wake of DoubleWasteland, and picking which ones were true goers seemed a terrible responsibility. But I must confess I’m rather taken with both the concept and the in-game footage they’ve shown. I would say that it looks conspicuously Blizzardian in motion, but I am totally up for controlling dark legions in a randomly-generated world.

Team darkForge apparently already have working prototypes, so this appears to be well past the concept stage. They’ve got two long breakdowns of how the game mechanics work, which you can read here and here. I guess the main point would be that it’s levels linked by an overworld, which you advance across on a largely linear fashion conquering territory until you reach the king. The levels themselves are full of randomly-generated (that needs a portmanteau by now – rangen?) beasties, settlements and whatnot, loosely defined by what part of the overworld it’s located in.

Once you’re in a level, you’re in control of the Nekro, an evil summoning fella who can call up assorted monsters at will. Each monster has its own power/summon meter, increased by different action. F’rinstance, “The Horror’s power meter is increased by blood being spilled. Every time a unit damages another unit, blood is spilled and is then collected by the Nekro.” A Horror is more suited to outright killing of foes, and killing increases the Purge’s power meter, so in theory the game will be filled with summon-combos like that. Monster control in primarily indirect – you send ‘em somewhere and they’ll do their own thing once there. Except… you can alternatively directly possess them, a la my beautiful Dungeon Keeper. I’d want to do that in every strategy/management/etc game if I could.

Funding has exceeded its $100k target already, with a promise to add in a character customiser (including an option for a Lady-Nek) and multiplayer modes at $120k. There are just over 60 hours left on the clock, so if you want to either up its funding or bag yourself a cheap pre-order, you know what to do. Given Nekro is A Thing That Is Definitely Happening, we can expect to hear much more about it very soon, I don’t doubt.

Oh, and more details on the devs’ heritage can be gleanded from this Reddit IAMA.

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28 Comments »

  1. lordcooper says:

    May I be the first to say w00t?

  2. Freud says:

    I like the general idea and the art style. The videos didn’t make it look all that fun but it’s a work in progress, so I still have some hope for this game.

  3. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Apparently (I think) some ex-Blizzardians are working on it, so the similarities in artstyle aren’t all that surprising.

  4. rocketman71 says:

    Pooping pigs!. Sold!

  5. Hoaxfish says:

    Apart from spending too much on Kickstarter already, I’m put off by just how they’ll mesh all those games they name-dropped (in other words, I don’t see their vision of how those games could fit together)… but I’ll be happy if they manage to pull something off.

  6. RedViv says:

    Said so already, but still: 120K should be covering the fees and provide a bit of security. I’m very glad they did come this far though.

    A game somewhere between Sacrifice, Giants, and DK, that’s something I wanted to exist for quite some.

  7. pakoito says:

    I would be happier if this was made into a PvP game. I have tried several times to play Sacrifice but I never get past the tutorials because they feel too long and I have to retake them every time :/

  8. minerwilly says:

    Dunno. Looks like Overlord: Dark Legend on the Wii rather than Dungeon Keeper/XCOM. Wheres the base building?

  9. carn1x says:

    Pros:

    - Working prototypes
    - Very interesting art style
    - Poop

    Cons:

    - That guys hands
    - These 2 people are simply too good looking
    - Kickstarter goal seems strangely low?!

  10. gschmidl says:

    Selling ads in the $5000 slot is pretty weird.

    “Thou ſhalt play Codblops”

  11. mckertis says:

    “The only game that even begins to rival X-COM as my favouritest of all the favoured favourites”

    Its amazing how much love that game gets, despite being a completely botched design that barely holds together.

    This game is already failing to deliver on its promise, despite not even being made. You are supposed to be a bad evil necro, yet your victims look as ugly and evil as your own forces. How am i supposed to get off on being a Dark Overlord then, huh ?

    Oh, and its a bit weird watching a femme gleefully describing a game about monsters pounding each other into mud.

    • Maldomel says:

      I’m confused. Are you trolling or just being dumb? I’ll go with the second option, it is not very nice for you, but you deserve it.

      • mckertis says:

        Well, you wont be a game designer anytime soon, seeing as you have absolutely no idea what i was talking about, whelp. Have a nice dumb life.

        p.s.
        First sign of chronical internet-caused stupidity : calling everyone who has a different opinion a troll. Maybe you should take a break from the net.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          “Oh, and its a bit weird watching a femme gleefully describing a game about monsters pounding each other into mud.”

          That, sir, is enough to call you a troll, I’m sorry to say.

        • aepervius says:

          Firstly I think your last sentence is prolly what made them call you a troll.

          Secondly, you did not give any objective evidence to your claim of the design being barely standing, which make it rather an opinion. If you had provided objective evidence to your claim, that would be something else, but as written, people would be right to call you on your critic.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Don’t know – I also read and assumed you were trolling. Possibly the “femme” jab.

    • Josh W says:

      I know what you mean about the enemies thing:
      “your enemies aren’t all rainbows and sunshine”, why not?
      One of the great things about dungeon keeper is that your enemies are all rainbows and sunshine.

      In my mind the theme would seem more coherent if your foes were the poor little guys from settlers:

      Spreading across the map and building through their tech tree, it fits. Then you come out of nowhere like a monster and grab a few here and there..

      Ok now I’m turning it into a stealth game, don’t mind me!

      • abandonhope says:

        I think the vision for the king is more reflective of actual kings, not fantasy kings. Real kings are rarely all sunshine and rainbows–half the time they turn out to be quite insane. Regardless, the king would have every reason to consider the Nekro his bitter enemy given the onslaught of destruction it’s spreading across his kingdom, making the eventual crusade he launches only natural.

        Plus, I think there will be plenty of opportunities to corrupt the forces of good (more “good” than you, at least) and be a blight on the land. I’m looking forward to butterflies combusting in mid-flight and flora withering wherever the Nekro goes, a possibility discussed in the IAmA.

  12. wodin says:

    I still don’t understand your issue about reporting on games on Kickstarter, it’s not different to doing a preview on a game you can pre order. Odd.

    On a side not my daughter loved Overlord and Overlord 2. She wanted to be an evil Overlady when she got older!

  13. Lemming says:

    “that needs a portmanteau by now – rangen?”

    Hasn’t ‘randomised’ always worked? What happened to using that word? It means the same as ‘randomly-generated’!

  14. Yosharian says:

    Can’t see how this game is related to Dungeon Keeper at all

    Plus, ‘Nekro’? Really? That is an awful title. Sorry, I know that’s pedantic but it bugs me.

  15. Lamb Chop says:

    I ask but one thing of this game. It must include a strangely disengaged announcer deadpanning, “Casualty.”

  16. abandonhope says:

    I was scratching my head, waiting for RPS to cover Nekro. Lo and behold. I wasn’t sold on this one immediately. It took me a while to wrap my head around the vision, how the influences shaped the mechanics and, ultimately, what play would be like. Once I got to where everything seemed solid, the originality compelled me.

  17. Jupiah says:

    I’m not convinced that they can actually deliver on the kind of gameplay they’re promising or live up to the games that inspired them, but hot damn I am loving the art style. That is one slick looking game.

  18. jwoozy says:

    It’s probably time to stop navel-gazing about the role of RPS and kickstarter reporting. We’re well past the point of reasonable concern over the influence of mass media and deep into the territory of insulting your readerships intelligence with this paternalistic concern over the wellbeing of our collective pile of $20 bills.

  19. Araxiel says:

    Why do the humans/good guys be “corrupt and evil” good guys? That’s something that already annoyed me in the “Overlord” series. The supposed good guys were just…well bad guys that had a “good guy” label attached to them, they weren’t really good, righteous, charitable, just and whatnot. I want to fight Mr. Self-important-good-hero in a shining armor that kills dragon’s because they give him XP.

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