Double Kickfine: Massive Chalice

By Jim Rossignol on May 30th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.


Double Fine have returned to Kickstarter for Massive Chalice. They explain that Massive Chalice would be what happened “if turn-based tactics and feudal fantasy had a lovechild, and that offspring founded a mighty century-spanning dynasty.” As such it’s a game of two rather familiar-sounding parts: a strategic part where you – an immortal king battling an invasion of demons – manage your realm, and a turn-based battle where you handle the fighting business of your army of heroes. They’re looking for a mere $725,000. And you can see the pitch video below. It’s quite good. It features a vomiting corporate satan.


So what do we think? It seems to be hitting a twin-zeitgiest thing: dynastic feudal throne-gaming, and turn-based battle fidgetry. All good things?

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132 Comments »

  1. Lars Westergren says:

    Goddamnit Kickstarter. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

    Several laugh out loud moments in the pitch. I think I would pay them just to make more Kickstarter videos.

    Sounds a bit like XCom meets Crusader Kings 2? Or is that just my optimism filter kicking in?

    • jeowchoi says:

      I’m getting a Heroes of Might and Magic vibe with Crusader Kings-style hero management mixed in. Not exactly a “new” game idea? (not that I mind..)

      Kinda wish they had more info on how the game will exactly work. I’ll be waiting for more updates down the line, but that pitch video was pretty funny.

    • povu says:

      Pitching a series of Kickstarter pitches on Kickstarter?

    • fdisk says:

      That is exactly what it sounds like; XCOM/Final Fantasy Tactics meet Crusader Kings 2.

      I must have backed about a dozen Kickstarter games at this point and I have yet to play the first one…still, I could not help myself. Double Fine? XCOM? Final Fantasy Tactics? I couldn’t give them my $20 fast enough…

      • iridescence says:

        Sounds intriguing but I am concerned about what kind of depth it will have. The new XCOM bored me after a while because the character progression was too simplistic. A year ago I would have been like “TBS! Just take my money!” but with so many TBS games coming out now I’m feeling a bit more picky.

        Does this company have any experience at all developing this kind of strategy game? I’ll probably back it but am just feeling a bit leery. Probably just a bit of Kickstarter fatigue though :)

        One other thing though, I hate the pitch video. if you want my money, don’t spend 90% of your video joking around and 10% actually talking about the game.You aren’t as funny as you seem to think you are.

        • jsiadfbeawe says:

          http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1949537745/armikrog?ref=live

          A link for anyone who wants to visit the site. Very excited about this.

        • MellowKrogoth says:

          Really, you didn’t like the pitch video? You are as boring and heartless as you sound.

        • Armante says:

          Maybe you don’t know DoubleFine that well? This is what they do, how they act, have fun, chill out.. If you want a straight-faced KS appeal video, you won’t get it from these guys :)

          • iridescence says:

            I obviously didn’t find it as hilarious as some people seem to but there’s nothing wrong with them having fun and making a light hearted video.

            I just would’ve like more information about the actual game. I don’t know them very well. This is the first game from them that’s really interested me although I did get TWD bundle today since it’s so highly praised. I’ll keep an eye on the future updates and a good chance I will still back the game.

          • GepardenK says:

            @iridescence

            Apart from what you can read about on their KS page I dont think its possible for them to give you anymore info. Doublefine seems to kickstart games at a very early stage. In their last KS, broken age, shafer talked about having to hold back on even thinking about a story for the game until the kickstarter was complete; because he wanted to start at a blank slate with his only restraints being that he was to make a point and click adventure game

          • zhivik says:

            The video was hilarious, but I’d appreciate some more info, maybe some concept art, anything to give me a general idea why I should fund this and not just buy Crusader Kings II or some of the Total War series (which have the same concept).

            It’s one thing to fund an adventure game from Double Fine, who have people on their team with proven track record, it’s a different thing to support a strategy with a concept that has been already used quote well by established developers.

            I’m not saying it won’t work or that the game would certainly fail – I’ll just wait a little bit for more info before I decide.

  2. stump sock says:

    Between Rogue Legacy and this, apparently I have a weakness for pre-ordering games that involve having warrior children. :\

    • Bhazor says:

      That warrior baby was adorable. I’ll be sorely disapointed if they aren’t born with full beards in game.

  3. Memphis-Ahn says:

    Too bad I can’t use the money I used to back DFA on this.

    • stump sock says:

      I like the video’s implication that we’re kickstarting Brad Muir.

      • Anthile says:

        That’s the six million dollar stretch goal.

      • Memphis-Ahn says:

        He’s my favourite. He made BRAZEN and during Amnesia Fortnite his Kaiju game sounded like it would be the most fun (but didn’t win).

      • Laketown says:

        if I was to kickstart this it would be entirely about kickstarting Brad Muir… and his game I guess. He is the happiest man in game development, and he’s hilarious whenever he goes to Giantbomb.

        :D! forever

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Well, the money we put into DFA (aka Broken Age) seems to be put to good use, so I don’t share your assessment. This could potentially be an interesting game, though.

      • Memphis-Ahn says:

        Sure, I won’t deny that, but this sounds a lot more interesting to me personally.

    • stampy says:

      Hey, at least you didn’t plunk it down on godus.

  4. Brun says:

    That picture. I don’t even.

  5. FF56 says:

    Question from a non-native English speaker, is it “Txalice” or “Kalice” or are both right?
    I had never heard “Txalice” before, is that an American vs British thing?

    • Malcolm says:

      Closer to “Txalice” I think. Same initial sound as “Chair”

    • Barchester says:

      To be honest, I’ve never, ever, heard “Kalice” before.

      • MobileAssaultDuck says:

        I could see how a non-native speaker would see words like chronology or chaos and then assume that other ch combos may produce the same sound.

        One of many reasons I am an English spelling reformist.

        • fdisk says:

          Yeah, English rules are all over the place. Let’s not even get into how to pronounce “.GIF”

          • Cartras says:

            Easy, just like you pronounce JIF peanut butter. JIFF not GIFF

          • Chris D says:

            Ah, that awkward moment when you have to break it to a complete stranger that they’re entirely wrong.

          • darkChozo says:

            Yeah, clearly it’s pronounced “banana”.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Like your man said, It’s pronounced ‘jif’ like a Jif lemon or a Jiffy bag. I do hope you weren’t suggesting that this was wrong Mr. Chris D…

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            I pronounce it “You still use those? .PNG, my good man.”

          • Cleave says:

            I always pronounced it gif as graphics (the first word of the acronym) has a hard g. But then again, giblets…

          • MrLakestream says:

            It’s pronounced “Throatwobbler mangrove”.

    • ulix says:

      \ˈcha-ləs\

    • Jimbo says:

      ‘Cha-’ as in ‘Champion’ or ‘Challenge’.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Nonsense! It makes perfect sense. Now I’m off to get some ghoti and chips for dinner.

  6. BurningPet says:

    well, that was brilliant.

  7. Ultra Superior says:

    No.

  8. Tei says:

    Tim Schafer just pointed to … me, and called me “Banker” whatever that means.

    This is terrible, in a good way. I have enjoyed more the video that I can possible enjoy the outcome of the project.

  9. Klarden says:

    In fact, you will not be saved

    That picture reminded me of Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness

  10. Wurstwaffel says:

    Well that’s not much info in terms of gameplay. And judging from their previous games they seem to be a little too style-over-substance for my taste. I mean the games are still solid but the gameplay could have a bit more depth and direction to it.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Iron Brigade is still sitting unplayed in my Steam library, so I don’t know how good that one is. (It got good enough comments here that it earned a place in my pile of sadly unplayed games, though.) I’ll be keeping an eye on this one, and wait for a bit more info, but like you I’m not backing it yet. (The Kickstarter seems to do well, so I may wait for reviews…)

  11. Screwie says:

    The king of Kickstarter pitch videos has returned!

    Very excited. The game sounds like exactly the sort of thing I would play to death.

    • RedViv says:

      Likewise. Double Fine always does that. Well, except maybe for that Kinect thing. Otherwise it’s as if they scrape random things directly out of my brain and then just mash them together and make an at-least-good game out of it.

      • arccos says:

        To be fair, the Kinect party games they did were pretty amazing, and did stuff no one else has with Kinect. It was just designed for a different audience.

  12. Barchester says:

    Aw damn it, that was brilliantly funny. This is going to cost me money, isn’t it?

  13. guygodbois00 says:

    Brad Muir, Project Lead, Vampire, Chain Smoker…

  14. Reapy says:

    Game idea seems intriguing and is something I’d probably buy, but, not much to go on here whether it will come together. Will probably sit on this a while to see the updates and if they give out some more of the design/art style etc.

  15. povu says:

    -

  16. ResonanceCascade says:

    Look, I get that it’s often really hard to make games on time, and the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter was much more successful and huge than they expected it to be, but as of right now that game is set to be released well over a year past its “estimated delivery” of August 2012.

    That is fine (better a good late game than a shitty on time one) but that said, I still can’t bring myself to give them another cent on promises until that game releases.

    • SurprisedMan says:

      So I guess you missed the whole thing where it made over 8 times its initial funding goal leading to a significant lengthening of the development estimate for the game because they had so much more budget than expected for it?

      They’re not allowed to change the estimated delivery date on Kickstarter, but they were very clear early on that plans had changed to match the new budget, and the documentary is showing the game to be well into development.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        So I guess you missed the part where I said: “Look, I get that it’s often really hard to make games on time, and the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter was much more successful and huge than they expected it to be.”

        then followed it up with

        “That is fine (better a good late game than a shitty on time one) but that said, I still can’t bring myself to give them another cent on promises until that game releases.”

        I’ll be happy to Kickstart another Double Fine game when they ship the one I already gave them a 100 bones for. Not a day sooner. I don’t think that’s too unreasonable.

        • Acorino says:

          Four things:
          1) The release of DFA was never estimated for August 2012. The original estimation was October 2012.
          2) During the Kickstarter campaign it became clear that they would take more time to make the game, and just after they counted all their money they aimed for a new date, April 2013.
          3) They had no idea what kind of game they would make before they put up the Kickstarter, save for the genre. Heck, that was the whole pitch: watch a game grow from seed to full bloom. See Double Fine succeed or fail with whatever they do. Yeah, the game isn’t out yet, but see it another way: since the game takes longer to make, we’ll get a lot more of the documentary.
          4) You really trusted Tim to stay within deadlines? Really? After the long delayed releases of Psychonauts and Brütal Legend?

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            Please read what I wrote. Not what you think I wrote, but the genuine article. OK?

            The point is not that I’m mad about the delay or wasn’t expecting it. I stated very clearly that I’m fine with it. My point is that they have my money from the previous Kickstarter, which is not yet delivered, and that I won’t be pitching for another until it is.

            I brought up the delay because, since the game isn’t released, it’s still just a promise right now. Double Fine hasn’t earned an automatic Kickstarter contribution from me. I was willing to take a risk on one, but not two. Not until I see how the first one turns out.

          • xao says:

            You might be fine with the delay, but you clearly misstated the magnitude of the delay. The 2012 date was for some other, smaller game than the one they wound up making. DFA is not ‘set to be released well over a year past its “estimated delivery”’.

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            OK. I’ll be sure to run the exact dates past my team of fact checkers next time.

  17. Mctittles says:

    Video was entertaining, however there was no game beyond some popular buzzwords thrown around.

    • JFS says:

      Exactly. That sort of makes me sad. DFAdventure was straightforward, they said they were going to make a classic point-and-click adventure. That’s an acceptable promise.
      Now, however, they get all Molyneuxy and give their word that they’re gonna make a be-all, end-all hybrid of some of the great games of ye olden times (X-COM, HOMM3 and also Crusader Kings get thrown around). Keep in mind that those are games that never even got remade or copied in a satisfying fashion, and now they want to skip the remake stage and go straight to the “mash it up in a nice way and build something advanced on the foundation” stage?

      I’m not too sure about this.

      • solidsquid says:

        The actual Kickstarter page lists a lot more details on what the game is, the video is just to get people’s interest and give a (very) general overview

  18. Buemba says:

    They’re certainly namedropping some legendary series when talking about their inspiration for Massive Chalice, I just hope the final game lives up to them. To be fair, after Iron Brigade and Brazen I’m confident Muir is Double Fine’s best man to make a game with interesting gameplay.

    The Kickstarter needs some better pledge tiers, though. I understand the desire to avoid physical rewards since that apparently swallowed a significant chunk of Broken Age’s budget, but surely they can come up with better digital rewards to entice higher pledges?

  19. brat-sampson says:

    Is it bad I want to give them money for making a good reference to new Arrested Development within a week of it coming out?

    • engion3 says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking.

    • tobecooper says:

      Sneaky Double Fine people know exactly which buttons to push. I’m still blued after the awesomeness overload that was the new AD season.

    • adamsorkin says:

      It may be. But I thought the same. They were getting my money anyway, but got it 5 minutes sooner.

  20. abandonhope says:

    I like the concept and I want Kickstarter to be sustainable over the long haul, so… yes? I am kind of tired of paying $20 for things in the future though.

    • stump sock says:

      At least with DF, you get some really well done documentary videos about the making-of while you wait for the game. I’m almost as excited for more of those than I am for the game itself. Assuming you paid for a high enough tier.

    • GepardenK says:

      Think of it like gifts to your future self! He will be very happy for what you bought him… Unless he`s one of those guys that its impossible to find a gift for, I hate those!

  21. Jason Moyer says:

    A week or so ago, after having recently finished Brutal Legend and Stacking (which are phenomenal), I would have been like YAY DOUBLE FINE. However, I just finished my first playthrough of The Cave, which is both great and incredibly disappointing – great for the writing/humor/artwork and unique character puzzles and disappointing for the crappy platforming and the half of the game you have to replay 5 times in order to get all the stories – so I’m kind of…meh.

    • kibertoad says:

      “The Cave” was designed by Ron Gilbert, who is with DF no more. Neither Shafer, nor Muir were involved in the project.

      • BTAxis says:

        That doesn’t go for Psychonauts though, which I wasn’t really happy with in the end. DF definitely have their ups and downs.

        • Acorino says:

          Psychonauts is still my favorite game from them. They have their ups and downs, for sure, but I don’t think they ever made an outright terrible game. The Cave is probably one of their weakest, but it still isn’t bad. Just rather ho-hum.

  22. Flipao says:

    He could have at least delivered the first one before asking for money again.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      But “he” isn’t really asking for money again. Yes, Double Fine is, but this one isn’t Tim’s game, and Brad and his team are not working on Broken Age. (I do get your point, but waiting for Broken Age to finish would probably have meant that this team would have to court publishers instead of doing this.)

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        I understand the rationale, but I’m also in the camp who isn’t pitching on a second. I had to think long and hard about ineXile’s Torment one as well (but I was ultimately won over by the pedigree).

        I can’t say as much for Double Fine. They’ve been a really hit-or-miss developer, so I’m gonna wait and see how the first one turns out before breaking out my wallet again.

  23. Bhazor says:

    “Joke stealer trial version”

    As someone watching dubiously acquired TV right now, that got a laugh from me.

    Edit: Just looked Showstealerpro trial up. Just when I thought it was impossible to love Arrested Development more. Caveat I do subscribe to Netflix but the streaming service runs like absolute ass on my computer.

  24. craigdolphin says:

    Color me intrigued. But, on a capped satellite internet connection like mine, downloadable titles are about as attractive as swimmers itch. Unless there’s a physical disk option in a reasonably priced tier (<=$60) I'm afraid I'll be sitting this one out.

  25. kwyjibo says:

    Surprised they haven’t taken some of the lessons learnt from other Kickstarters, they seem to riding on their name alone. Would have really helped to see some artwork, even mockups.

    One thing they’ve not done is to include an early-bird discount option for early backers, which would help them get more traction.

    I took a chance on Double Fine Adventure, partly because of the novelty of Kickstarter. But there have been so many other pitches now, the bar has been raised. I’m sure they’ll succeed – but they could have done even better.

    • mrwonko says:

      Surprised they haven’t taken some of the lessons learnt from other Kickstarters, they seem to riding on their name alone
      Well, they might not have learned anything in that regard, but they learned something. This time around, the documentary will be available to everybody, since it’s really the people who have not yet bought the game that need to see it.

      (Not contradicting your statement, wanted to say this anyway and this seemed like a good place.)

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      One thing they’ve not done is to include an early-bird discount option for early backers, which would help them get more traction.
      Are you joking? In a single day, they’ve got more than half their goal and have more than 12,500 backers. You really think that a discount would have been a good strategy for them?

      • kwyjibo says:

        Do you really think it’s a “discount”? It’s an opportunity to charge people more, and not have them feel bad about it. See how Project Eternity and Tides of Numenera had an artificially limited $20 option.

        Double Fine would have gotten there quicker, and could have increased the average pledge amount.

        So the answer is yes. Or I wouldn’t have fucking suggested it in the first place.

        • Rikard Peterson says:

          I don’t see what fucking has to do with the subject we’re talking about, but other that that, I now think I understand what you’re saying. I thought you were asking for a discount, but what you were saying (if I’m not mistaken again) was that you’d like to see a higher price tag on the “get the game” pledge level, and a discounted limited level with the current price. Ok, that does make sense. (I’m not convinced it’d have been better, but it’s an argument that does make sense, unlike what I thought you were saying.)

  26. Solanaceae says:

    Man this game concept sounds fantastic. I might have to kickstart this if I have money to spare.

  27. Lambchops says:

    Amazing really that for all the big marketing budgets of your EA’s and Ubisoft’s is slightly smaller companies like Double Fine that really know how to push people’s buttons (when I say people’s I do of course mean mine!).

    There is a sense of it being an amalgamation of “things wot have been popular recently” ie procedural generation and permadeath (hello roguelikes), tactical combat (hello XCOM), dynasties (hello Crusader Kings II), passing powers through generations (hello the forthcoming Rogue Survivor) but . . . the pitch video was glorious, it’s Double FIne (they look like they are going to deliver big time on Broken Age, any of their games I’ve been interested in I’ve enjoyed), I like all those things. I’m in. Not for as much as I was for DFA or some of the other projects certainly but definitely in.

    Also I sense this project might draw me to the forums more, which is something that of all the Kickstarters only FTL has managed to achieve so far, which would be a good thing as I enjoyed feeling like part of the process with FTL.

  28. Acorino says:

    Kinda expensive tiers this time around! Hrm…have to think about backing. Haven’t played Iron Brigade. And I want more details. DETAILS!

  29. Kinth says:

    Ahahahah, awesome reference to Arrested development 4 in there.

  30. Ghoulie says:

    I hope they announce they’re doing the Kicking It Forward thing.

  31. Gap Gen says:

    What was that game where your new life was you playing the previous hero’s son, out to avenge him? Or did I imagine that game?

  32. MeestaNob says:

    I will back this, but I just hope they add more depth to it than previous offerings.

    Costume Quest was FF7-lite, but they counter-balanced that by making it a short game. Brutal Legend survives by its excellent setting and story, however the action/strategy component is lacking when compared with a game like Sacrifice.

  33. JFS says:

    After 1.5 years of Kickstarter videogame history, I can understand why modern game publishers behave the way they do and are reluctant to take on un-established projects.
    There’s hundreds of devs, they all make grandiose promises, few of them actually have anything impressive to show (the luckier ones live off their name, the not-so-lucky ones just beg and promise), and most need gorgeous amounts of money. Then, you never hear back from them and deadlines get moved and pushed. It’s really strenuous.

    Still glad Kickstarter exists, though. Even if FTL is one of the few games I backed that have actually been released so far, and maybe the only one of them that was really interesting, fun and kept its promises, I’m still somewhat happy I can participate in the making of videogames.

  34. kincajou says:

    Only tangentially related but i’d like to throw my voice out there with those being sad that the katchup seems to have disappeared. I discovered a lot of interesting things through there and in the end it was the katchup projects which needed the spotlight for a bit as the didn’t have much of a name behind them or as much of a drive.

    Just my thoughts.

    As for massive chalice… eh, will wait for more info before passing judgement

    • Klingsor says:

      Second that! Always loved the Katchup which gave me a nice overview about what’s going on on KS. Too bad it disappeared.

  35. honuk says:

    Call me crazy, but I think they should maybe feel obligated to release the other game they, you know, funded via kickstarter before going back to the well.

  36. Astartes says:

    They’d probably gain more money if Tim kept his beard.

    Beards are ‘in’ now.

  37. strangeloup says:

    A lot of this is making me imagine a western take on Compile Heart’s weird-but-neat Agarest: Generations of War series, which is thus far just on PS3, though apparently the first one (there’s also Agarest 2 and Agarest Zero) is coming to Steam via Greenlight. I can definitely see that working, but I think I might sit back and wait to see how this one develops for a bit before committing.

  38. jrodman says:

    Sorry to say but I can’t fund a game with that image.

  39. HothMonster says:

    Two player productions should just kickstart “Following Tim Schafer Around, Season 1″ if this project fails. I’d back it.

  40. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    You had me at turn based tactics

  41. MellowKrogoth says:

    This pitch was insane and amazing… much better rehearsed than their Humble Bundle videos, too.

  42. LuciusAxelrod says:

    This guy smiles a lot, it’s really creeping me out.

  43. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Tim Schafer is a great man and his team is handsome.

  44. Screamer says:

    750 000 doesn’t seem enough, guess they expecting more, considering over 3 mil wasn’t really enough for Broken Age.

    • pakoito says:

      It’s all about the scope. Crunch math says $750k covers salaries for one year for 12 people, at the bare minimum. That’s more than enough to make a tactics game in the vein of Fire Emblem, they are experienced developers and the engine is already there. I would have liked for the game design to be finished so little time would be wasted on prepro from that “dev year”.

  45. Dingbatwhirr says:

    That was the best kickstarter video I have ever seen. But goddammit Tim Schafer, that ending: using emotional blackmail to get me to donate? My money won’t stay in my wallet…

  46. cpt_freakout says:

    Humongous Cup

  47. Fox89 says:

    It doesn’t concern me in the slightest that Double Fine are turning to Kickstarter before they release the other game they funded via Kickstarter. This is, after all, a different team and thus requires its own funding. Seems pretty sensible to me, and it’s not really fair to say “tough luck guys, you’ll just have to be fired because Broken Age isn’t out yet”.

    In regards to the game, I backed it! XCOM? Awesome! Final Fantasy Tactics? Awesome! Marry people off like in Fire Emblem? Awesome! Sounds like a good idea to me, I’m more than happy to put down $50 for the game plus some shiny extras.

  48. radishlaw says:

    Finally! Someone got the bright idea to do a fantasy X-COM! Unfortunately the mention of generational gameplay makes me think of Romancing Saga 2 and now I am sad.
    I would back this project if they spend the time to do some kind of concept demo, but I guess it is unlikely before the kickstarter period ends.

  49. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Oh dear. I’m probably going to back this. Even with as little information as they’ve given us.