Spiral Talk Orion: Prelude, Kickstarter

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.


  1. godgoo says:

    Reassuring ethos, eager to see how this ends up.

    • Urael says:

      I’d love to see people like this rewarded with some kind of stability and security. Gaming can never have too many moral guardians. :)

      I’m not convinced about the game itself, though. I’m a singleplayer kind of guy and this sounds awfully multiplayer for my tastes. More dinosaurs are always cool, though; he was definitely right about that!

    • godgoo says:

      Agreed, I didn’t want to be negative but i’m not convinced SO FAR. I like to play fps’s online (although a strong campaign can’t be beat) and my main concern is the jet packs, it seems all very unwieldy to me, like advanced bunny hopping for griefers.

  2. safetydank says:

    Colour me cynical. The game concept looks pretty but I’m getting no sense of cohesion – despite the long gestation. $10000 seems on the higher end of kickstarter indie game projects, and this is just the first of a series of rounds. And the marketing treads a fine line between being enthusiastic and overblown too.

    Maybe I’m just grumpy from the egregious overuse of the inception soundtrack. The kickstarter’s already reached its target so they have the opportunity to come through.

    • D says:

      The music is quite good, or so I’ve heard.. *snort* I think they’re doing it themselves
      A commenter posted these details and a download back in the first article on it

      The Carrier’s Theme by Mark Zuhru
      link to orion-project.net

  3. Dhatz says:

    so why does it look like a noobish trailer for a noobish mod?

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      because its probably made by some fan who dubbed it with the inception soundtrack.

  4. Badgercommander says:

    I almost joined this project but decided against it after getting a bit closer. I wasn’t a fan of the way the project was being run but I wish the team all the best.

    I doubt the mod will ever deliver though.

    • Joe W-A says:

      Me too.
      edit: Well, I didn’t almost join, but I was asked

  5. 7rigger says:

    Well I’m excited. 4 player co-op with my freinds against dinosaurs and aliens?

    Looks like this will be giving Killing Floor a run for it’s money…

  6. WJonathan says:

    Cool typeface. But what’s a “Drion”?

  7. paterah says:

    Is that Inception or Dark Knight music? Oo

    • DarkNoghri says:

      It’s the music from the Inception trailer, which was never in the actual movie that I’m aware of.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      The trailer music was remixed from the movie soundtrack, but it was in there if you paid attention.

  8. Jakkar says:

    Delusion, arrogance, charisma and ignorance. Vital characteristics in creating games without skill or ideas.

    • buenonacho says:

      Right, that is why it is backed on Kickstarter by gamers that know this game is going to be the shit….you are just jealous sir.

  9. Scandalon says:

    This looks like a fun mod.


    Serious question if any of the Orion devs read these comments: Why did you think it necessary/desirable to make a whole separate game out of this? (Glad to see you didn’t write a whole new engine though.)